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Dell Buys Credant for Mobile Security

Dell figures that corporate data has never before been so available and less secure, a fair appraisal

Dell may not have much of mobile profile but it said late Tuesday that it’s gonna buy Texas-based Credent Technologies, the 11-year-old purveyor of data protection solutions to control, manage and secure data sent from mobile end-points to servers, storage and the cloud.

Dell didn’t say what it’s paying but Credent has raised around $43 million from such as Intel Capital, Cisco, Austin Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Crescendo Ventures since it was started.

It protects and encrypts user and corporate data – from PCs to mobile to the cloud with policy-based security and management – including enterprises’ existing systems management processes.


Dell's booth at 11th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo Silicon Valley

Dell figures that corporate data has never before been so available and less secure, a fair appraisal. Any laptop, it says, or $300 mobile device left unsecured and unmanaged can expose millions of dollars’ worth of enterprise data.

“In today’s work environment data is always in-flight – from work being done on a local PC, being sent via e-mail, stored on a USB drive and saved in the cloud. Each one of those experiences represents a potential security risk. As a result, businesses need a data protection strategy that is comprehensive, flexible and easy to deploy,” Jeff Clarke, president of end user computing solutions at Dell, said.

“The Credant assets will complement and extend current Dell device security features to make Dell Latitude, OptiPlex and Dell Precision computers among the world’s most secure. When combined with the change in compute behaviors and data in-flight, Dell can now offer a differentiated security proposition based on its own intellectual property.”

Credant’s technology is supposed to strengthen Dell’s computing solutions and improve the manageability, reliability and security engineered into its enterprise computing portfolio.

Dell says the Credant widgetry is a simple, comprehensive and transparent solution that’s easy to deploy and protects data across its full lifecycle. It supports multiple mobile operating systems which Dell says lets companies embrace the growing “bring your own device” movement.

Credant currently remotely secures more than two million end-points at customers in the aerospace, defense, energy, financial services, universities, the public sector, drugs, healthcare, retail, consumer, telecommunications, IT and media industries.

Dell says it offers simplified security management through a single console covering PC, tablets, external media, mobile devices and public clouds; lowers the cost of PC lifecycle maintenance for encrypted machines by working with existing IT tools and processes – its data-centric approach to encryption doesn’t interfere with existing IT maintenance tools like patch management, application updating or password recovery.

It’s supposed to protect the data going from smartphones to the cloud including core PC device data, the largest variety of removable media, self- encrypting drives, MS BitLocker clients, mobile devices and end user data in the cloud as well as ease of the deployment and provisioning of users up to 5.5x faster than competitive solutions, saving more than three hours per PC.

There’s also the little matter of high-level security.

The Dell Hardware Encryption Accelerator solution equips end-user systems with military-grade protection. It’s supposed to reach the highest level of US Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) certification for end-point disk encryption that’s commercially available, i.e., 140-2 Level 3.

Credant CEO Bob Heard said, “Protecting critical information has only become more important as organizations globally struggle to protect their data in an ever more complex world. This combination allows Credant to bring its deep capabilities in data security to Dell’s robust solution set and customer base. Together, we will continue to focus on innovation and building value that result in beneficial outcomes for our customers.”

Dell has a long-standing joint development partnership and OEM agreement with Credant and uses its technology in its Dell Data Protection/Encryption solution.

Credant has about 120 employees who previously worked at IBM, Entrust, i2 and Sterling Commerce and defense agencies like the DOD and NSA. It wants “to make it safe for companies to use mobile devices.”

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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