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Executive Editor

Tablus boosts capacity of content protection

Jul 12, 20042 mins
Intellectual PropertyNetworkingSecurity

Tablus is upgrading software for its security appliances so a single device can prevent more corporate data deemed sensitive from leaving the network undetected.

The company’s Content Alarm appliances scan data as it moves across corporate networks and can trigger alarms if unauthorized files and other digital resources are being moved out of the network.

The new version of Tablus’ software uses a more efficient sorting algorithm so the appliance can protect up to eight times more data than before, according to CEO Jim Nesbit. The new software supports sorting up to 200G bytes of data, up from about 25G bytes in the previous version, he says. It could handle even more but would run the risk of reporting false positives, he says.

Content Alarm boxes attach to monitoring ports of routers that are physically close to WAN connections and search traffic for sensitive data. The appliances provide audits of when this data is moved and who sent it. The audits can be searched by date, sending client or protocol, and they can be used to meet regulatory requirements for tracking movement of data that is supposed to be kept confidential.

Such appliances fall into a relatively new product area in which many start-up competitors, including Reconnex, Verdasys, Vidius and Vontu, use slightly varying technologies to accomplish the same goals.

Being able to sort through large volumes of data is essential to protecting intellectual property, says Peter Christy, an analyst with NetsEdge Research. The broader the body of data that can be searched, the more that can be protected. “If you’re very precise about what you’re looking for, then you don’t protect very much. Throughput is key,” he says.

It is important to remember that this class of appliance doesn’t enforce security but alerts network security staff that possible breaches have occurred. Enforcement by an appliance can be a problem if it registers too many false positives and blocks traffic that it shouldn’t. “Security systems can fail by impeding useful work,” Christy says.

Notification of possible breaches is important. “Part of a mature security system is getting everyone doing the right thing,” he says. “It is key to know what happened so you can get the problem under control.”

Tablus’ Content Alarm appliances start at $29,000, and the software upgrade comes standard with new purchases. Current customers will receive a free upgrade.