SecureWave Tool Helps Partners Stem Data Theft

Using the new Device Scanner discovery tool, solution providers can quantify the threat of data theft or security breaches by showing customers how many portable USB storage devices such as thumb drives, Apple iPods or other MP3 players have been connected to corporate endpoints.

SecureWave is providing Device Scanner exclusively to channel partners, which it hopes will be able to use the tool to open the door to sales of its Sanctuary product lines, said Thad Mann, director of product management at the Herndon, Va.-based company.

"A lot of customers are oblivious to the level of risk and the iniquity of devices being connected to their networks," Mann said.

Enterprise PCs each have an average of three to four USB devices connected to them, Mann said.

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Device Scanner audits a network to determine all of the devices that have connected to Microsoft Windows endpoints, creating a historical log by pulling data from the Windows registry, Mann said.

Greg Stenstrom, CEO of security solution provider Stenstrom Scientific, Camden, N.J., said many customers are surprised by the number of portable storage devices that their employees are using.

"They don't realize the extent of the problem until they see it with their own eyes," Stenstrom said. Stenstrom Scientific focuses on customers in health care, financial services and law, three vertical markets where customer privacy and data security are top priorities, he said.

The problem for many customers is that even if they have policies in place to prevent use of thumb drives or iPods, they have no way to audit or enforce those policies, Stenstrom said. Most employees aren't removing data for malicious reasons, but users that take data home with them to work remotely can still create security risks, he said.

"No matter how it happens, companies still have a requirement to protect a customer's privacy," he said, noting that even sensitive data in the hands of good employees can easily be lost or stolen if it is housed on USB storage devices.

For now, Stenstrom Scientific is offering services based on Device Scanner for free or including the service as an extra element of its network security assessments. The hope is that the tool will provide quantifiable data that customers can use to help justify sales of other SecureWave products, including its Sanctuary Device Control and Sanctuary Application Control offerings.

Assessments based on the Device Scanner tool provide a "simple gateway into a company," Stenstrom said.