Kasten Chase releases SAN security offering

Kasten Chase Applied Research Ltd. on Tuesday released its Assurency SecureData for storage area networks (SANs) that provides certificate-based authentication for network devices.

According to the company, a traditional array of security products such as firewalls, triple data encrypted standard (DES), intrusion detection systems and antivirus content are all included. In addition, a military concept known as defence-in-depth – a layered security model – has also been included to protect sensitive data.

The product addresses authentication by the exchange of digital certificates between the SAN and Assurency’s trust authority that manages and validates the digital certificates. Its Crypto-Accelerator, a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) -compatible cryptographic co-processor offloads bulk encryption and decryption operations from the host server and the SAN fabric, the company said. The Accelerator also supports encryption algorithms such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

The offering is a combination of hardware and software, but on the box side, it is a security management console only. The appliance sits outside of the SAN and allows the data to pass, but there is no encryption taking place within the console itself, explained Hari Venkatacharya, senior vice-president secure networked storage at Kasten Chase in Mississauga, Ont. The lack of encryption in the console is due to the fact that it could interfere with the logical unit number (LUN) masking in the middle of the SAN, thereby leaving the data insecure as it passes through, he said.

The Crypto-Accelerator and the PCI card sit on the host server and handle the bulk of the encryption along with an embedded key management service. The solution targets “enterprise level customers because they tend to have highly sensitive data and are going to be regulated on how they securely store their data,” he said.

With a slew of competition already in the network security SAN arena that includes IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and EMC Corp., Venkatacharya said Kasten Chase could choose the partnership route with another security vendor as a strategy moving forward. One relationship – between Kasten and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. – has been in place since last year.

The company is online at www.kastenchase.com.