NeoScale Appliance Stores Data Encryption Keys

The new CryptoStor KeyVault makes it easier for customers to encrypt stored data, said Dore Rosenblum, vice president of market at the Milpitas, Calif.-based developer of enterprise storage security solutions.

"We are working to solve issues related to unprotected data going off-site unprotected," Rosenblum said. "We want to help customers keep out of the headlines."

Unlike other security areas such as virtual private networks where an encryption key often lasts only a few milliseconds, or long enough to get the data from one side of a network connection to another, encryption keys for data stored off-site may need to be stored and made available for years, Rosenblum said. "Customers need a way to manage the keys so they can be read," he said.

The KeyVault appliance does not encrypt data, but instead manages the encryption keys used to encrypt the data and makes them available for sharing across multiple sites for disaster recovery and replication purposes, Rosenblum said. "Customers can share the keys with their remote sites and with their channel partners for disaster recovery," he said.

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Such keys can be generated by NeoScale encryption appliances or by similar appliances from other vendors. "Encryption itself is the easy part," he said. "The harder part is to manage and share the keys to let customers restore their data. They can do it manually. But this automates and simplify the process."

John Zammett, president of HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based solution provider, said that NeoScale has always been ahead of its time with its encryption technology, but the time is right today, as recent news stories about lost or stolen tapes can attest.

"We've been a NeoScale partner for three years, but couldn't sell the product for a long time because it was too early," Zammett said. "Like encryption, this (encryption key management appliance) is ahead of its time. But this is an answer to a question whose time is coming."

The KeyVault is currently in beta testing, and is expected to be available next quarter, said Rosenblum. It is expected to have a base price of about $25,000, and will have optional capabilities to allow it to manage several million encryption keys, he said.

NeoScale works with both national and regional solution providers, and has put a channel partner training program in place for the KeyVault, he said.