MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today’s CIOs and CISOs are facing continued pressure to adopt the cloud enterprise-wide while managing the increasing operational and security risks associated with it. While the challenge can be daunting, a new report from research company Gartner Inc. highlights the role that encryption and tokenization technologies can play in helping enterprises adopt cloud services, even those in highly regulated industries or in regions with strict data sovereignty requirements. The report, “Simplify Operations and Compliance in the Cloud by Encrypting Sensitive Data (1),” recommends that CIOs and CISOs, “simplify audits such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) when using cloud services by implementing access controls and encryption or tokenization of sensitive data.”
“Tackle Six Security Issues Before Encrypting Data in the Cloud(2)”
Gartner highlights sector-based data compliance requirements, such as PCI DSS, as drivers for organizations to consider adopting encryption and tokenization technologies. Another catalyst is referred to as data residency requirements, where “the protection is required to prevent access by government authorities and agencies while data resides in or is passing through other jurisdictions.” Regarding this issue, the report goes on to say that “an alternative is to avoid storing the data in those jurisdictions, such as the U.S. and U.K., which use legal access or interception of data through laws such as the USA Patriot Act and the U.K. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.”
But the report cautions enterprises to clearly think through the implications of deploying these technologies in their environments. Gartner’s research helps enterprises understand these risks and highlights the following:
- Protect sensitive fields/columns while using cloud SaaS applications
- Do not store keys or use keys in other jurisdictions, or use a third party; otherwise the encrypted data could be accessed if the keys are available
- It is important to review the claims of vendors carefully due to the novel and unique implementations of encryption solutions. … Enterprises should always check the claims of vendors that their solutions are based on proven security models
- When keys or tokens are managed on-premise, always check the impact on the access and availability of the cloud service provider (CSP) and the performance of appliances
- A growing best practice is emerging where enterprises encrypt data stored in the cloud and manage the keys locally.
The report references another document published by Gartner earlier in the year titled, “Tackle Six Security Issues Before Encrypting Data in the Cloud(2),” that specified, “Encrypting data may impact the processing ability of a cloud-based service. For example, SaaS-based applications with field-level encryption can break indexing, searching and sorting, and will also break numeric calculations performed in the cloud.” That report goes on to say that “if the encryption vendor offers options for ‘function preserving encryption’ – for example, to preserve sort – regulations may require the use of standardized and approved algorithms or proof of independent certification for the potentially weakened encryption.”
PerspecSys views itself as unique in the security category that Gartner calls “Cloud Encryption Gateways” because it is the only provider in this category that enables organizations to use proven, validated encryption modules from companies such as Voltage Security, SafeNet, Symantec, McAfee and RSA as the gateway’s encryption technique. While leveraging these encryption modules, the PerspecSys Cloud Data Protection Gateway simultaneously protects cloud data and preserves critical end-user functionality of cloud applications, such as sophisticated searching and reporting.
PerspecSys’ Pluggable Encryption Architecture enables enterprises to extend existing investments in trusted encryption modules – enabling them to protect data throughout its entire lifecycle across multiple systems (on-premise and in the cloud) with a consistent, trusted encryption system. Additionally, PerspecSys is the only cloud encryption vendor that has had an independent PCI DSS QSA auditor validate that its tokenization solution adheres to the security guidelines defined by the PCI DSS Security Standards Council (summary report available on http://www.perspecsys.com/).
“This Gartner report is timely because of the increased concern about data ownership and privacy in the cloud fueled by ongoing reports of data surveillance and the implications these revelations will likely have on future regulations and compliance mandates,” said David Canellos, CEO of PerspecSys. “The security strength of the underlying data protection techniques that an enterprise uses is critical. This is why PerspecSys has refused to use any of the weakened security approaches that the report urges CIOs and CISOs to fully understand. I’m astonished to see some competitors tell enterprises they need to use modes of encryption modules that have not been opened up to public scrutiny and do not have well-vetted security proofs when they want to preserve cloud application functionality. This is a totally unacceptable position that opens these organizations to security risks as well as compliance and audit challenges. We do not force this tradeoff on our customers, which is why we are seeing our approach win in the marketplace.”
About PerspecSys Cloud Data Protection Gateway
Resulting from years of original research and development, the award winning PerspecSys Cloud Data Protection Gateway works by intercepting sensitive data or files while they are still on-premise, replacing them with a random tokenized or encrypted value, rendering it meaningless should anyone outside of the company access the information while it is being processed or stored in the cloud. In addition, the PerspecSys solution offers the differentiated ability to preserve cloud application functionality – even when the data is tokenized or strongly encrypted – using encryption such as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) listed FIPS 140-2 compliant modules from leading industry cryptographic providers. With PerspecSys, enterprises maintain ownership of encryption keys and end users have access to features and functions such as ability to sort and search data (including advanced search), send e-mails, and generate reports – even on sensitive data that has been tokenized or strongly encrypted.
(1) Simplify Operations and Compliance in the Cloud by Encrypting Sensitive Data, 2013; Analyst(s): Brian Lowans, Published 15 August 2013, Research Report G00255099
(2) Tackle Six Security Issues Before Encrypting Data in the Cloud; Analyst(s): Brian Lowans, Neil MacDonald, Published: 9 March 2013, Research Report G00248246
PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud data protection solutions that enable mission-critical cloud applications to be adopted in enterprises and government agencies. PerspecSys removes the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated organizations across the world by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer’s network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. Based in McLean, VA and Toronto, with offices in San Francisco and London, PerspecSys Inc. is a privately held company backed by investors that include Intel Capital, Paladin Capital Group, Ascent Venture Partners and GrowthWorks. For more information please visit www.perspecsys.com or follow on Twitter @perspecsys.