Software safeguards mobile net devices

Updated software from Credant Technologies promises to simplify data encryption on mobile devices and fill in cryptographic gaps left by rival products.

With Mobile Guardian Enterprise Edition 4 , network administrators can set up encryption policies for mobile workers without those users having to do anything. The Mobile Guardian Shield client runs on Windows-based laptops, PDAs and smartphones, and enforces policy selections whether a user is online or offline.

"There are tons of competitors, most of them offering file/folder or complete hard disk encryption products," says Deb Mielke, managing director at Treillage Network Strategies. "But with Credant, you can centralize the control and administration of all this."

Until the new release, Mobile Guardian was a folder-based encryption program.

Rivals include PC Guardian Technologies, Utimaco Safeware, Pointsec Mobile Technologies and Microsoft, whose Encrypting File Systems are part of Windows 2000 and XP. Some vendors, such as Senforce (for more information on the company, go here ), incorporate client encryption as part of a larger package of mobile protections.

Mobile Guardian doesn't encrypt the Windows operating system, program files and similar data. Credant executives say that in some cases a flaw, such as a bad sector on a disk, can cause a fully encrypted disk to no longer boot Windows, which renders the client unusable.

The new version of Mobile Guardian lets administrators selectively encrypt data, files and folders that are often overlooked by encryption vendors or users.

One of the better-known examples is page files (formerly called swap files) created by Windows to temporarily store data and applications to free memory for other programs.

Release 4 costs US$72 per user for a 1,000-user license.

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