There is a growing awareness that sensitive information is at risk when it is shared with a third party such as a consultant, service provider or outsourcer. A recent survey published by the Ponemon Institute (2008 Annual Study: Cost of a Data Breach, U.S.) showed that the percent of data breaches attributed to third parties has grown to 44 percent (up from 21 percent in 2005). To address the problem of secure data exchange, Egress Software Technologies announced today the availability of Switch, an innovative new data protection solution for both individuals and enterprises.
Delivered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, Egress Switch allows organizations to wrap controls around the information they share and ensures that data is not carelessly handled by its intended recipient, even after it has left the data owner’s physical presence. Unlike other encryption or rights management products, Egress Switch is easy to use, operates on any data or media type, and has no complex infrastructure. Egress Switch encrypts shared information, allows access to only authorized recipients, enables security parameters to be set or changed in real-time and offers an audit trail of successful or failed access attempts.
“For City and Hackney Teaching Primary Care Trust, we needed a simple, easy-to-use solution to ensure that all forms of information shared with our General Practitioners, health partners and other agencies will remain secure when it has left our hands,” said Tim Wilson, Head of ICT at City and Hackney Teaching Primary Care Trust. “We selected Egress Switch because it addresses secure data exchange in a very unique way that is not available from other suppliers today – encrypting the information on any type of media, maintaining full control over data during and after its exchange, and streamlining the workflow of sharing. The Switch solution addresses encryption requirements placed on the Trust by the Department of Health and gives us peace of mind that we’re taking every precaution necessary to keep sensitive personal identifiable information safe from exposure.”
Egress Switch allows an information owner to package their sensitive information using strong AES 256-bit encryption on any type of media such as a CD/DVD, USB stick or file. Once packaged, the secured information can be sent to a recipient either electronically through email, web, FTP, or physically through regular mail or in-person. The owner can then set or change security policies independent of the package through a service in the cloud. Security policies can include authorizing recipients and limiting recipient access. These changes can be made in real time, even after the information is sent or shared. This allows a user to “pull information back” if it needs to be recalled.
“Even though controlling your own data sounds simple, most organizations still struggle with this issue and turn to data protection offerings such as encryption and data leak prevention to help them keep their information secure,” said Bob Egner, U.S. President of Egress Software Technologies. “While those tools are important, they offer no guarantees about who is accessing data once it has left a user’s hands. We believe that our Switch solution addresses a major gap in today’s data protection offerings, allowing any organization or individual that needs to share information externally to do so safely and affordably by using this simple tool.”
Egress Switch also offers a complete view of when the information recipient has opened or used the shared information, as well as unauthorized access attempts, providing an audit trail. The owner can then easily track activity of their shared information through logs arranged by package or recipient.
“Individuals and organizations that share information must consider the ramifications if their data ends up in the wrong hands,” said Richard Stiennon, chief analyst and founder of security research firm IT-Harvest. “If there is a need to stay in control, even after the information has been shared, a simple and affordable secure data exchange solution makes a lot of sense as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy.”