On Tuesday, AFORE announced CypherX, a security product aimed at locking down data in cloud-based and vitualized environments with Operating System (OS)-specific encryption. With the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), cloud services, and virtualization, applications and data have become more portable than ever — requring new techniques to stop people from taking it out of the network.
“If you leave the cloud, what’s the digital shredder that will ensure that your data is no longer accessible?” asks AFORE Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Jonathan Reeves, who I spoke with last week (a full interview with Reeves will be posted on this site later). AFORE WILL be demonstrating the new product next week at the important VMware show in San Francisco.
CypherX is geared at a massively growing “virtualized world” in which applications run over networks in data centers, which are often not controlled by the enterprise using them. To lock these applications down, CypherX encrypts the data in a ‘secure container’ linked to the computer’s OS so that it can only be read when it’s accessed from an authorized device and application. As soon as the user leaves that authorized computer and application, the data is scrambled so that it can’t be moved onto USB or other storage device and taken with the user.
As Reeves points out in the Edward Snowden incident, in which the ex-NSA employee took and leaked massive amount of sensitive government data, if the data were encrypted at the OS and application level, he never would have been able to take the files. Reeves says:
- An “app lockdown” encrypts and decrypts data for each “trusted” application before the OS stores or uses that data.
- If an attacker has the log in credentials, the data is always encrypted and decrypted before it ever leaves the OS.
- If the data is moved, copied onto a USB, put in a cloud app such as Dropbox, or e-mailed, it is still encrypted.
- The data cannot be opened on an unauthorized machine or an uncertified (digitally signed) application.
AFORE, based in Ottawa, Ontario, has about 50 employees. In June it announced that it had raised $6 million from a group led by the BTC Venture Capital fund.
The company claims this is a first on the security front. That would be hard to confirm, as other companies, including SafeNet, are targeting security in the virtualization market. The encryption market itself is huge, with hundreds of providers.
CypherX launched on Tuesday and will support multiple virtualization platforms, including VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. The product will be demonstrated and promoted next week at VMware, where it will get more industry reaction.
Check in on our full Jonathan Reeves interview, which we’ll publish tomorrow.