Australian encryption software designer Senetas plans to bring high-end encryption to small and medium businesses (SMBs) with the release next month of a range of encryption tools that will deliver fully-encrypted communications.

The move into the SMB market comes as the company, which has sold its high-security CN encryption platform to governments of more than 20 countries, seeks to broaden its market with entry-level encryption tools that allow small businesses to encrypt all the data they transmit between two points.

“SMEs are very concerned about the increasing risks to their data,” Senetas CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement, “such as unencrypted data, Internet facing data networks, less robust and network performance degrading encryption solutions. They are seeing that robust encryption should be a standard feature of their data networks.”

Senetas isn’t the only company working to improve access to encryption technology: encryption provider Vormetric, for one, recently set up an office in Australia to tap into the growing demand for its in-place encryption.

Vormetric’s recent Insider Threat Report, conducted by research firm Ovum, found that two-thirds of companies use encryption and access controls to protect sensitive data – although ANZ country manager Damian Harvey recently warned that poor key management of “binary”, on-off encryption was perpetuating security issues for CSOs.

The sophistication of encryption tools increases their cost significantly, which is why Senetas hopes its latest round of solutions will succeed in expanding access to technology that was designed for high-end government installations, with Common Criteria, FIPS and CAPS certifications ensuring their suitability in defence and other government applications.

Senetas’ encryption works to manage Layer 2 communications and, because it is based on the same military-grade security as its high-end products, is being billed as a far more cost-effective alternative to conventional methods of protection such as IPSec.

By scaling down the CN series’ capabilities to a price and capacity more reflective of SMBs’ requirements, Senetas believes the technology will help smaller businesses cost-justify the traditionally high cost of encryption platforms.

“It’s no longer sufficient for commercial organisations to simply take a financial risk-based approach to their stakeholders’ security interests,” Wilson said. “Customers are aware that the damage they suffer could be catastrophic.”

Original Article