Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

COMMON 2011 - Encryption, Customers, and Education

Posted by John Earl on May 12, 2011 12:43:00 PM
COMMON 2011 User GroupWe're just recently back from the COMMON 2011 conference in Minneapolis.  What a great experience for Townsend Security and our IBM i customers.  The encryption and key management sessions that Patrick and I presented were well received and well attended.  Many of the attendees were interested in the mechanics of encryption, and many of those were pleasantly surprised to learn that there is now a way to encrypt database fields without doing massive application program changes.  

At COMMON we announced our new Automated Encryption capability that is now embedded in our benchmark AES/400 product.  Automated Encryption allows you to insert encryption at a database level, rather than at the application programming layer, and that greatly simplifies the task of encryption.  Automated Encryption increases the efficacy of encryption too.  By enforcing encryption at the database level, you eliminate the chance that an application program might be unwittingly introduced that might not follow your encryption standard.  Encryption at the database level ensures that every credit card, or every social security number, is encrypted in the database - without the need for additional application programming.

Another bright spot at COMMON was the number of customers that were either already at IBM i V7R1, or were planning to get there in the next few months.  With the status of OS version V5R4 uncertain (it's End-of-Support date has been extended by IBM at least twice), there was a lot of discussion about what the right upgrade path is.  V7R1 has been out in the market for over a year, and with great new features like the database FieldProc (Field Procedures) It was encouraging to see how many customers were either already on V7R1, or had immediate plans to move there.  A number of customers that currently on OS version V5R4 were planning to move directly to V7R1 without stopping at V6R1.  While they don't avoid the problems of program conversion at V6R1, they do get to the stable, current release in one step rather than two.

Finally, it was great to talk to all of the people that stopped by our booth during the conference.  We spoke to over 300 people during the two and a half day expo.  For those of you that asked questions or made data requests, we are in the process of going through our notes and providing the requested feedback - someone will reach out to you soon.  Most everyone else will have gotten an invitation to follow us on LinkedIn, FaceBook or Twitter - that's a great way to keep up with what is happening in the encryption world and to stay on top of data privacy trends.  We're always producing new educational material about encryption, keymanagement, and data protection, so it's a great way to stay current on those topics.

And for those of you that couldn't make it to the COMMON conference, you can still follow us on social media, and we hope to see you at a tradeshow in the future!


Topics: COMMON, IBM i, Trade Shows