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5/11/2007
09:59 AM
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Securent Steps Into Database Data

Startup sets out to bolster security on databases and Microsoft SharePoint

Security startup Securent is looking to lock down database data, tapping into users' growing fears of an internal security breach. (See IP Theft Needs Attention and Security Upgrades Proliferate.)

Securent will unveil a souped-up version of its Entitlement Management Solution (EMS) next week, and claims to have found a way to plug some of the biggest internal security gaps. The vendor started selling software in late 2005 to control access to custom-built Java and .Net-based applications such as, for example, company travel systems or financial trading applications.

The last few years have seen growing paranoia about who gets access to what data or systems within an organization, prompting many CIOs and IT managers to rethink their security strategies. (See Oops, They Did It Again, On the Brink of Storage Disaster, 26 IRS Computer Tapes Missing, and Storm Clouds Over Los Alamos.)

Next week, Securent will take the wraps off the third version of this product, adding support for Oracle databases and Microsoft Sharepoint to the software. "Now we can apply the same policy-based framework to databases -- companies have no way to govern how much access insiders such as database administrators have to database data," says Howard Ting, the startup's director of product management.

The EMS software, runs on a standard Windows, Linux, or Unix server. SQL agents are deployed on Oracle databases or Sharepoint servers, which can intercept requests for data for users before it reaches the database. "We can stop that request based on who the user is," adds Ting.

Securent is not the only vendor playing in this space, and the startup faces stiff competition from CA's Embedded Entitlements Manager and BEA, which also offers "entitlement" software as part of its Aqualogic offering. (See BEA Updates AquaLogic, and BEA, Tata Expand.)

Despite the presence of these big-name rivals, at least one analyst feels that Securent has more weapons in its security armory, explaining that CA and BEA have yet to extend their offerings to cover SharePoint and databases. "Securent has a very interesting story --it could give you much more control and insight into the policies that are in place," says Jonathan Penn, director at Forrester Research.

Despite this fact, Securent could still have its work cut out gaining a toehold in this market, according to the analyst. "CA and BEA have the edge in terms of customer base and vendor viability," he says. "If I am a big BEA shop and want to look at something to centralize security of J2EE applications, it's natural for me to look at BEA first."

Securent told Byte and Switch that it has around 15 customers, which include Qualcomm, Credit Suisse, First American Corporation, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The startup was founded by former HP exec Rajiv Gupta and one-time Confluent Software CTO Sekhar Sarukkai, who now serve, respectively, as Securent's CEO and CTO.

Securent received $6 million in Series A funding last year, in addition to an undisclosed sum from angel investors. "We have plenty of money in the bank," says Ting. "Given that we have done some large enterprise deals, we're not out there looking for additional funding right now."

Pricing for EMS 3.0, which is available now, starts at around $75,000, depending on the number of servers covered by the solution.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS)
  • CA Inc. (NYSE: CA)
  • Credit Suisse
  • Forrester Research Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)
  • Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)

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