Workshare extends content security

Workshare Protect Mobile secures data on laptops, removable storage devices and PDAs.

Workshare this week unveiled software designed to help companies keep sensitive information from being copied or distributed without authorization via portable devices.

Workshare Protect Mobile is a new component in the vendor's Protect Enterprise suite, which combines desktop- and network-based elements. The suite includes Protect Client, an application that enforces content security policies at the desktop; Policy Manager, a centralized management console for creating and distributing content policies; and Network Protect, a gateway appliance for auditing and controlling outbound network traffic.

Protect Mobile is designed to monitor such devices as laptops and USB key drives. It also tracks messages that originate on PDAs or public Web kiosks.

Preventing data leaks from portable storage devices is a challenge that should be shouldered by everyone in the company, says Ken Rutsky, executive vice president of marketing at Workshare. Like other elements of the suite, Protect Mobile puts control in users' hands. It alerts users when they attempt to copy or distribute sensitive data. In addition, Protect Mobile can take steps to remediate data loss, by removing hidden data in a file or encrypting content, for example.

Protect Mobile includes client software for laptops that can be programmed to automatically lock sensitive files.

For removable storage devices, it enforces identity-based content policies that govern whether a user is allowed to copy, print or save particular files. It covers USB, CD/DVD, iPod and U3 drives.

Endpoint vulnerabilities Laptops, PDAs and removable storage devices frequently are involved in privacy breaches. Here are some recent examples chronicled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
DateOrganizationLocationIncident
October 2006Allina Hospitals & ClinicsMinn.A laptop stolen from a nurse's car contains the names and Social Security numbers of individuals in about 14,000 households.
October 2006T-Mobile USABellevue, Wash.A laptop containing the personal information of about 43,000 current and former T-Mobile employees was stolen from an employee's luggage.
October 2006Port of SeattleSeattleSix CDs went missing from an office at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. They held the personal information of 6,939 airport workers.
September 2006Erlanger Health SystemChattanooga, Tenn.The records of 4,150 current and former hospital employees were stored on a USB drive that was taken from a locked office.
September 2006Michigan Department of Community HealthDetroitA flash drive containing the personal information of 4,000 Michigan residents is missing; it was probably stolen from a department office.

For PDAs, Protect Mobile assesses messages and takes action, such as blocking a message or sanitizing content before it leaves an enterprise e-mail network.

Pricing for Protect Mobile starts at $10 per user, per year. The rest of the suite costs $29 to $49 per user, per year, depending on configuration.

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