12:03 PM

Dell Introduces File Level Encryption

Available in locally and centrally managed options, Dell Data Protection Encryption, includes policy templates to support regulatory compliance and reporting.

Dell Data Protection Encryption Local Managed Console
(click image for larger view)
Dell Data Protection Encryption Local Management Console

Dell on Wednesday launched Dell Data Protection Encryption software. Targeted to SMBs and enterprise customers, Dell claims it provides flexible, manageable and auditable endpoint encryption while simplifying data protection and complying with security regulations.

Dell Data Protection Encryption is file-based, encrypting on a per-file basis, rather than for an entire logical volume or physical disk, and can be used on desktop and notebook computers, tablets, external/removable media and other endpoint devices. Encryption for external/removable media includes external hard drives, eSata drives, 1394 devices, optical and secure digital.

The small business offering, the Dell Data Protection Encryption Client, is locally managed, with encryption keys saved to on site to media such as USB flash drives.

The Dell Data Protection Encryption Enterprise Edition is intended for midsize to large organizations, includes client and console licenses and central centrally management. It also offers reporting via a remote management console that allows users to detect devices, enforce encryption and audit encryption state.

File access can be constrained to only the machine on which the encryption key is generated.

Dell plans to offer the software pre-installed on Dell Latitude notebooks, Dell OptiPlex desktops and Dell Precision mobile and desktop workstations.

"This is one of Dell's first offerings in endpoint solutions with back-end management," said David Konetski, business client, office of the CTO at Dell.

Encryption of files on endpoint devices, external storage and removable media is one way for organizations to meet government and industry compliance regulations regarding "data at rest," for example, in case the device or media is lost, stolen or misplaced. If devices are configured properly, users cannot unintentionally create unprotected removable files.

Eric Ouellet, VP, secure business enablement, Gartner, commented, "Regulatory compliance is pushing companies to protect or risk fines. File-based encryption is more granular than whole-disk encryption, making it a good match for use with remote devices, external drives and removable media, which are what employees take on the road and to and from home. A solution like this is especially useful for organizations looking to keep the number of vendors to a minimum. And Dell's solutions doesn't force a company to change what computers or devices they are using or will buy."

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