Encryption market set to grow, distributor says

3 Nov 2010

Security distributor Cohort Technology is forecasting growth in the use of encryption tools as organisations guard against the risk of lost data.

The company has beefed up its Irish presence with the appointment of IT channel veteran John Mooney as country manager. Cohort’s product portfolio includes security vendors like Stonesoft, PGP, MXI Security and NComputing. As a distributor, the company only sells through IT providers and not directly to customers, and on Mooney’s watch it plans to quadruple the amount of resellers it has in Ireland.

One of the firm’s flagship vendors, PGP, was acquired by Symantec earlier this year and Mooney said he expects its tools for encrypting hard disks, files and folders, email and devices to be very popular because they have become easier to use.

“Encryption is a growing area. With PGP it is doable and manageable. It can be based on a policy. The recipient doesn’t need to know encryption; they get sent a link, see the encrypted mail and reply in encrypted format. Recipients don’t have to worry about what type of encryption to get. Personally, I believe all business email should be encrypted,” Mooney told Siliconrepublic.

Spending on security

While the current economic crisis means many firms will allocate less money to IT, Mooney said a certain level of security spending will still be needed. “Companies have to survive and they have to do some basic housekeeping to present data from being lost,” he said. “Spending will certainly stay level and the signs are that it is recovering.”

There are more laws coming into the country regarding data protection, and organisations will be forced to have policies around laptops and keeping data, said Mooney. “It is a cost people will have to bear. Information is key, and it has to be protected. To be fair, IT people in these organisations are on top of the technology, but I think it comes down to budget and the attitude of ‘it won’t happen to us’ – but of course it does happen.”

Another Cohort vendor, Stonesoft, recently announced it had discovered new advanced evasion techniques that it claimed pose a serious threat to existing network security systems. According to Stonesoft, these techniques provide cyber criminals with a “master key” to access any vulnerable systems such as ERP and CRM applications by bypassing current network security systems. The details of this discovery have been shared with CERT for vulnerability co-ordination purposes and have been validated by ICSA Labs.

As a result, companies are at risk of significant data breach, including the loss of confidential corporate information, Stonesoft said.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic