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Analysis

IBM beefs up DB2 with encryption from Vormetric
Lawrence Dietz By: Lawrence Dietz, Research Director, Sageza Group, Inc.
Published: 26th November 2007
Copyright Sageza Group, Inc. © 2007

Vormetric, Inc. announced this week that it has partnered with IBM to deliver database encryption capabilities for DB2 on Windows, Linux, and UNIX. IBM will offer Vormetric's data security solution as part of its data server portfolio, addressing customer demand for increased protection of sensitive data.

This new capability is delivered in IBM Database Encryption Expert, initially available for the new DB2 9.5 "Viper 2" data server. Vormetric's file-level approach to database encryption helps IBM Database Encryption Expert offer high-level performance combined with a non-invasive implementation. Because the Vormetric solution protects databases at the file level and minimizes the impact on critical applications, it can reduce or eliminate the need for users to change applications or databases. IBM Database Encryption Expert provides database backup encryption, database tablespace encryption, access control, host integrity and auditing in highly distributed environments without extensive management complexity or additional infrastructure costs.

Most end-user organizations have their heads in the sand when it comes to encryption. The very notion of employing encryption is an anathema to many organizations especially in mid-size organizations whose IT departments are not robust enough to tackle anything beyond those projects that impact day-to-day operations and/or the organization's core business. However, a plethora of recent events make it clear that organizations have a responsibility to those that entrust them with sensitive data. Furthermore, organizations who are loath to see their names in the paper for a data breach or who would like to avoid the unpleasantness associated with notification of data owners of an actual or suspected breach should consider encryption as preventative medicine. Many jurisdictions, such as California, have laws stating explicitly that encrypted data is exempt from the notification provisions, since it is presumed that the encrypted data is secure.

A team approach such as the one with IBM and Vormetric should be able to help end users implement encryption as an effective deterrent to data exposure. However, end-user organizations will have to pay strict attention to the implementation and ongoing support required for the combination of products and should devote adequate internal management resources to manage the consulting relationship that is likely to be needed, at least for the initial implementation, installation, and training. End-user organizations should also assess alternative means to encrypt their sensitive data outside the DB2 environment to guard against accidental exposure or targeted attacks.

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