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Vol. 2 No. 11 January 2004

Is it Wise to Encrypt Blocks?

Whether you're mandated by law to encrypt your data, or whether you're just overly cautious, there are a lot of ways to secure "data at rest."If you want to encrypt data that lives on a Fibre Channel (FC) array, at least two vendors--Decru, with its Data Fort storage security appliance, and NeoScale, with CryptoStor FC--have inline encryption appliances that live directly in the fabric. But one competitor, Vormetric, has grave doubts about the wisdom of encrypting data at the block rather than at the file level. "With a SAN, you have limited context about the source of read and write requests," says Phil Grasso, Vormetric founder and VP. "That makes it nearly impossible to implement access control because the context has already been stripped." Also, without a file system, you can't granularly encrypt files; you must encrypt entire volumes instead. One logical place to use block level data is with removable media, such as tape, Grasso says. "Block level encryption protects removable media just fine, because I can't trick you ...

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Features in this issue

  • Recent Funding

    Cash for several storage startups

  • Plan on disk-based backup

    by  Shane O'Neill

    Will 2004 be a breakthrough year for disk-based backup solutions? A new survey of Storage readers finds that while users are reluctant to completely eliminate tape from their backup environments, many are planning to deploy disk to complement tape in the next year.

  • Modular arrays earn new trust

    Modular arrays have come a long way recently, but are you ready to risk all of your company's mission-critical data on them?

  • Getting ready for IP SANs

    by  James Damoulakis

    IP SANs promise benefits to groups within your organization that up until now haven't had access to these kinds of capabilities. But before you even think of deploying an IP SAN, read this article.

Columns in this issue