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Could encryption devices open the door to massive savings and faster backups? For financial firms Regulus Group and J.B. Hanauer, which recently chose hardware over software encryption, the answer is yes, although challenges remain where key management's concerned.

Napa, Calif.-based Regulus Group hopes to reap the financial benefits of a major security overhaul at its primary data center and a backup site in Charlotte, N.C. Back in March, the bill presentment specialist deployed 10 Decru DataFort-FC devices in an attempt to save money and streamline its infrastructure.

Previously, the firm, which has around 80 Tbytes of data on IBM SANs and tape libraries, was using more than 70 different software applications to encrypt data. "Key management on that type of thing was a nightmare," says Christian Philips, Regulus' chief security officer. "By going with a hardware solution, we were able to circumvent that whole morass of infrastructure."

The fact that the bulk of these software applications were custom built simply added to Philips' stress levels. "We had three people that just did the key management," he says.

With the DataForts, though, the exec expects some big annual savings in software development, licensing, and maintenance. "In an organization like ours, which is a heavy user of encryption, it's in the millions of dollars," explains Philips, estimating total savings of $1.5 million a year.

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