IBM, Vontu Step Up Security For Data Storage

The latest version of IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager enterprise-class data backup and protection software now can encrypt data as it's backed up and to digitally "shred" the data when it is erased. And San Francisco-based Vontu added content-aware monitoring of removable storage devices to its data loss prevention software.

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) 5.4, rolled out this week, handles encryption key management for storage administrators, said John Conner, marketing manager for TSM. "We've taken out some of the manual work of managing keys," he said.

Also new in TSM 5.4 is data shredding. "Today, if you erase data, it appears erased, but it's still there," Conner said. "TSM can be set so that if data is erased, the space is overwritten. Administrators can designate a certain set of storage pools as shreddable."

TSM 5.4 also brings the ability to manage active data, or data that has recently been stored and is more likely to be needed on a priority basis should data need to be restored after a system crash, according to Conner. "We created an 'active data pool' on a disk to concentrate the active data in one place so it can be restored faster," he said.

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With version 5.4, all of the features of TSM now work seamlessly with the Network Appliance storage products IBM is reselling to its channel as a result of an OEM agreement the companies signed in April 2005.

Vontu, meanwhile, is taking aim at the more than 250 breaches of confidential information that have affected 100 million-plus Americans in the last two years by serving up content-aware technology to prevent data leaks, said Steve Roop, vice president of products and marketing.

The company's Vontu 7 software now includes the Vontu Endpoint Monitor, which tracks the moving of confidential data to a laptop or a removable storage device, such as a USB hard drive, based on the content of the data.

Trying to prevent leaks of data-in-motion and data-at-rest has typically been a manual process, Roop said. However, Vontu Endpoint Monitor provides 60 preset policies that define what confidential data, along with a policy builder and a policy wizard that allow customers to add their own policies.

For example, customers can set up certain code words in data that can be recognized by the software and flagged if someone attempts to move or copy certain confidential data or intellectual property outside the company, Roop said. "The software can look at the content of a database, scanning for confidential data or for data which is where it is not supposed to be," he said. "For instance, it might find credit card data in the wrong column."

Vontu 7 also can correlate instances of policy violations related to data breaches to flag instances where someone is intentionally or accidentally violating policies related to confidential data, Roop said.

The software now works natively in 32 different languages, making it easier for customers with offices in multiple countries to ensure that confidential information isn't accidentally or intentionally leaked across international borders, he added.

While the data security market keeps getting more players, technologies like encryption haven't generated the kind of revenue that these vendors are expecting.

Encryption of data has gone to the market in several ways. For instance, TSM competitors like Symantec have added encryption to their data backup and data protection software.

Several appliance vendors, such as startup Siafu Software and the Decru business unit of Network Appliance, also have developed hardware to encrypt data as it's sent over a network or to a backup device.

And IBM and Sun have recently offered native encryption technology with their high-end tape drives.