Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:WAVX www.wave.com) today launched Wave Cloud, a cloud-based service for enterprise-wide management of self-encrypting drives (SEDs). The company’s new subscription-based service introduces a game-changing platform for enterprises that wish to rapidly deploy centrally-managed hardware-based data encryption on laptops— all without the complexity and cost associated with maintaining on-premise servers.
SEDs provide one of the best defenses against data breach. Based on the Opal specification published by the Trusted Computing Group, the drives are available from leading storage vendors at little to no incremental cost from a wide range of PC suppliers, including Dell, HP, Lenovo and others. Solid-state versions of SEDs are also available. Advantages over software encryption include better performance (because encryption happens on a chip, it doesn’t compete for processing cycles); faster deployment (unlike software, SEDs don’t require an initial encryption cycle); and enhanced security (encryption cannot be turned off or otherwise compromised by the end user.)
Yet despite the advantages, the need for dedicated servers and in-house IT expertise –along with tight IT budgets – has hampered wider encryption adoption.
“Organizations are looking for ways to leverage cloud offerings to reduce the complexity and costs of deploying endpoint encryption,” said Eric Ouellet, VP Secure Business Enablement at Gartner. “While the endpoint encryption market is relatively mature, deployment challenges remain. Offerings that can provide standardized, simple-to-use frameworks for typically cumbersome tasks could help accelerate growth in this segment.”
These factors, coupled with the rising popularity of cloud-based services, were the drivers for the development of Wave Cloud.
“Wave Cloud opens the door for a new generation of users to discover the top-shelf endpoint data protection afforded by SEDs,” said Brian Berger, Wave’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “The service offers a capital-efficient and easily scalable means for rolling out self-encrypting drives in the enterprise—with the same management features to be expected from the Wave brand: remote management, policy enforcement and password retrieval.”
Subscriptions start at $37 per drive per year with a one-year agreement.
Wave Cloud has already elicited positive remarks from several beta customers, including DBConnect Solutions, Inc. based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. DBConnect is a remote service provider that specializes in Oracle data base administration for companies that use JD Edwards. Servicing small companies as well as multi-national, multi-billion global companies, DBConnect deployed Wave Cloud earlier this summer across all of its desktops and laptops used by their database administrators.
Doug Floyd, DBConnect’s Vice President of Technology had been a proponent of SEDs noting their better performance over software encryption, and the assurance they offered that everything on the drive was encrypted. But like other smaller firms without an internal IT staff, buying a desktop PC or server to install centralized management would have meant additional time and overhead fixing software or hardware issues. That’s why he elects to use cloud providers for most of the company’s business needs.
"It’s a great approach for small business. With Wave's cloud service, I was able to quickly configure all of our SEDs from one central console. Because the Wave Cloud solution is hosted for us online, we can avoid the overhead of managing any additional hardware or software in house, which saves us time and money," said Floyd. "We are able to assure our customers that even if an employee's laptop is stolen, their data will still be safe, which is a great selling point for potential customers."
Wave Cloud Advantages include:
- Rapid deployment. Available and deployable via the internet, Wave Cloud’s simple, point-and-click interface enables most deployments to complete in less than three days.
- Capital-efficient. Wave Cloud requires no on-site servers, and subscription fees scale to match the scope of endpoint protection that customers deploy. Pay only for what you use.
- Better performance. Because encryption happens on a chip within the SED’s drive, it doesn’t compete for processing cycles with the laptop’s CPU or slow down running applications.
- Enhanced security. An SED’s encryption is always on and cannot be turned off or otherwise compromised by the end user. SEDs are also impervious to cold-boot or side channel attacks.
Underscoring Wave’s commitment to providing leading-edge endpoint security, the company is developing additional value-added features for its Wave Cloud service which will debut later this year, including automatic enrollment of SEDs, easy integration with Microsoft BitLocker® encryption and Windows® 8 eDrive technology, and the ability to pair a device’s SED and Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This last feature promises to enhance endpoint security even further by allowing organizations to automatically switch off user authentication if an SED becomes disconnected from an organization’s network.
For more information on Wave Cloud, or to request a trial subscription, visit Wave at
http://www.wave.com/products/Cloud/consultation.asp#. For additional information on the service, visit the Wave Cloud product page or download “How Cloud Computing Can Accelerate Endpoint Encryption”.