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Posted Apr 4, 2005

nCipher announces the availability of SecureDB with column level encryption

By Linda Cole

nCipher today announced that SecureDB, its database security solution, now supports Oracle, IBM DB2 and MS SQL Server. Because SecureDB has the ability to encrypt at the column level, it is more cost effective and a speedier solution for protecting sensitive data-at-rest from theft and unauthorized access.

Information that moves over the internet has traditionally been protected with encryption-based solutions, such as SSL. However, data-at-rest has more recently become the target of security breaches. To secure data-at-rest, companies have relied on perimeter-based security, such as firewalls and intrusion-detection systems--a dangerous and potentially damaging solution in today's world. Encryption would have prevented recent security breaches from resulting in more than a list of names--credit card numbers and other sensitive data would have been safe.

Organizations do not deploy encryption on as wide a basis as it perhaps should be deployed, due to the complexity and costliness of encrypting an entire database. SecureDB's solution for securing data-at-rest is more practical in that it provides the capability to encrypt only sensitive information in the database, leaving non-sensitive information unencrypted. On an average, only 2% of all data stored in a database is sensitive, nCipher's stand is 'why encrypt the other 98%?" Encrypting only the 2% of data that is sensitive minimizes the impact on network and application performance.

SecureDB provides the ability to control access to specific columns within a database, and to specific data items within the database, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, inventory, etc. SecureDB operates at the database level and is transparent to live applications--queries from applications run and behave normally, allowing queries that are looking for non-sensitive data to pass through without incurring any of the overhead that results from encryption. Only that bit of data that does require extra security requires that extra step of authentication to ensure that the individual asking for the information has permission to access it.

In addition to encryption, SecureDB separates the security administrator duties so that the administrator does not have access to the data but does control who can see the data or who can encrypt the data. A security officer manages the access control, controlling the encrypting/decrypting capabilities of different columns, so even the DBA would need to be authenticated through the security officer in order to see sensitive data. Encryption at the database level also protects against the threat of the files being physically compromised.

A unified management console provides the capability to manage multiple databases from one console along with an auditing console that displays what shields are in place and which databases are secured.

Consumer demand is driving Private and Government Regulatory Compliance. SecureDB's audit capabilities let you know who is looking at sensitive data, what columns have been encrypted, which databases are secured and who has access to sensitive data.

Combined with HSM technology, not only would you need a password but you might also have to provide any number of smart cards to authenticate yourself to the management console.

SecureDB scales and performs across multiple databases, providing flexibility as organizations grows.

For additional information, please visit http://www.ncipher.com/.

About SecureDB

nCipher, a provider of hardware security modules (HSM) has partnered with Valyd Inc. to deliver SecureDB, a database security solution that enables organizations to protect their most critical information assets through fine-grain (column-level) encryption of the most sensitive elements in their databases. .

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