Echoworx Corp. has launched a new file and folder-based encryption platform, which integrates public key infrastructure (PKI) encryption into Windows Explorer. And while the company is hoping the security tool catches on amongst public and government organizations, one analyst says large enterprises might need to look elsewhere.
The Toronto-based Echoworx said Secure DOX was developed to address the growing problem of data loss and theft in many enterprises. To avoid becoming the next TJX, the company said, Secure DOX can play a crucial role in data encryption and in every organization’s data loss and leakage prevention strategy.
“It’s about saving people’s information from being released to the public, in an encrypted way,” Chris Erickson, executive vice-president of Echoworx, said. “And if there is a breach, administratively you won’t have to notify people. California data breach laws, for example, say that you have to notify everybody affected by a breach – unless you encrypted your information.”
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Secure DOX can encrypt information that’s sitting on hard drives, laptops, thumbnail drives and even memory sticks, using the industry standard PKI encryption technology. Erickson also said that the software was designed to work inside Windows XP and Vista operating systems and uses the identity of the individual users to ensure the encryption.
“This is not a separate application,” he said. “It’s actually built right into Windows Explorer, so it’s very native and very familiar to the user. You can right click a file or simply drag-and-drop a group of files into a folder and automatically encrypt them.”
Echoworx said Secure DOX would cost “a few dollars” per user, per month and is a fully hosted solution that does not require additional IT investments.
But ease-of-use aside, one analyst said the security software was only moderately effective in protecting against data breaches. James Quin, senior research analyst at London, Ont. Info-Tech Research Group, said that a file or folder-based encryption system can mean that some documents slip through the cracks, especially compared with a full-disk encryption tool.
“If a document doesn’t get saved into the appropriate folder, no encryption is going to happen,” he said. “And while you can set up rules, such that all documents get saved to the My Documents folder, it becomes difficult to ensure the swap space and temporary files are encrypted properly, because invariably, they’re not part of the My Documents folder.”