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DeviceLock Enhances Portable Storage Security

Its endpoint security, access-control software is designed to keep crucial company information from walking out the door

By Paul Travis, Byte and Switch

DeviceLock released a new version of its endpoint security, access-control software this week that's designed to keep important company information from walking out the door, whether printed out on paper or copied to a portable storage device. The new features in version 6.4 include file-type detection and filtering and the ability to set policies and controls for computers inside or outside of the corporate network.

The Russia-based company says it has more than 55,000 customers that are using DeviceLock to protect more than three million computers, and it sees a growing market as new forms of storage make it easier for employees to copy and transport confidential information.

"The iPod and MP3 players changed the landscape, and now everybody carries USB sticks or some type of portable memory," Vladimir Chernavsky, president of North American operations for DeviceLock, told Byte and Switch. "We hear about lost laptops but we rarely hear about lost thumb drives because it goes unreported. It is huge problem that is under the radar, and companies need a way to control and monitor it."

The company's endpoint data leak protection software places enforcement agents on computers and servers and is integrated with Microsoft Active Directory to monitor activity and implement security policies. The software allows a company to block access to ports and prevent specific activities, or it can simply collect logs of activity and flag suspicious behavior. There also is a shadow-copy feature that keeps copies of all files that are copied to external USB devices and external drives, which can be used as a forensic tool for investigation data leakage.

Chernavsky said the management system works at several levels to control information flow. "It can let authorized people copy information to USB sticks, but not other employees unless they use company-provided encrypted USB sticks," he said.

The file-type detection and filtering feature can recognize more than 3,000 file formats and use policies to determine whether to allow or block a file transfer to portable storage or even to printers. The process only takes a few seconds and users won't notice a performance hit, said product manager Alexei Lesnykh. A user will be warned that he or she is attempting to do something that isn't allowed, and the transfer will be blocked if it violates pre-established policies.

DeviceLock is operating in one small segment of a much larger security industry that is evolving and consolidating as major vendors try to offer comprehensive enterprise security packages. As more research shows that that the biggest security threat comes from "insiders," or employees, companies will increasingly look to products like those offered by DeviceLock and its competitors to stop the data leaks. Devicelock said its current competitors include Lumension Security , Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), GFI Software Ltd. , Safend Inc. , ControlGuard Ltd. , GuardianEdge Technologies Inc. , and others, but Chernavsky understands that the big boys like McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE), Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), Trend Micro Inc. , EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and others are growing competitive threats.

"We have a strong customer base in Russia, in Europe, and in the United States, and the market is growing like crazy," he said. "We also cost around $9 a workstation, while many of our competitors charge more than $30 a workstation. We think we are well positioned to continue our strong growth." He said the privately owned company has been growing by more than 80 percent a year for the past five years.

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