Code Green fights e-mail data leaks

Network appliance aimed at small to medium businesses

Code Green Networks is introducing an appliance that can help customers protect trade secrets and meet regulations that govern the way corporations protect sensitive data.

The company's CI 1500 device searches e-mails before they are sent to off-site destinations to determine whether they contain sensitive information that should to be confined to company facilities. If so, the machine blocks the traffic and can alert users and IT security about infractions.

The appliance, which plugs into a network switch, works by hashing the data to create unique representations or fingerprints of files and segments of data content within files that have been designated sensitive. As e-mails are sent, the device performs a similar hashing of all outgoing content and compares it with the hashes of the data that it is supposed to block. If fingerprints match, the e-mail can be quarantined, blocked or re-routed via SMTP commands.

The CI appliance scans at the application layer so it can view content of files. It is deployed on the LAN side of firewalls to screen traffic before it gets on the Internet, and can scan half a million e-mails per hour, the company says. To create the fingerprints, customers give the CI 1500 rights to log on to servers containing the sensitive data, and the machine automatically hashes it.

With the appliance, users can set detailed policies on blocking data. For instance, if certain sensitive information is to be made public on a certain date, the device can block e-mails containing that content until that date, but allow them afterwards.

In addition to blocking sensitive e-mails, the device can compare bodies of data to find related information. It could, for example, compare student papers to a body of known works to detect plagiarism. It could also be used to compare source code for programs as a way to detect software copyrights, the company says.

The company competes against the PortAuthority, Tablus and Reconnex, says Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst with Current Analysis. Code Green is different in that it has designed appliances specifically for small to midsize businesses, she says, whereas the others aim at larger customers and off products that can cost four times as much.

CI 1500 costs US$25,000 with a 250-user license, US$50,000 for a 1,000-user license and US$100,000 for unlimited users.

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