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Encrypting Everything All the Time

Security vendor Sophos on Tuesday released an update of its mature encryption product focused on making encryption more of a no-brainer for midmarket customers who are interested in securing their files but have felt boxed-out of the technology by the difficulty of implementation.

"We're reimagining how encryption needs to work to become widely adopted, versus just being used in enterprises," said Marty Ward, vice president of product marketing at Sophos, in an interview.

The release of Sophos SafeGuard Encryption 8 takes what had been a file and disk encryption product and adds two key elements -- encryption of files by default and the extension of the encryption functionality for a customer to mobile devices, specifically iOS and Android.

"People used to have to classify data, decide how to encrypt it and then train all the users on how to use it. That seemed like a lot of work," Ward said. "Our focus is on simplicity and automation."

A 100 percent channel company, Sophos has an end user sweet spot of organizations with between 100 and 5,000 users, a customer demographic that the company's own research shows is growing more interested in encryption technologies, Ward said.

Sophos SafeGuard consists of a management server for management of encryption keys, a management console that IT uses to administer the product, agents for Windows and Mac laptops and PCs, and an app for iPhones and Android devices.

The intention of the new functionality is that any file that's created by a customer will be encrypted by default. It can be shared among employees, who are able to open the file if the Sophos software verifies that the user, the application and the device all check out and do not appear to be under any sort of active malware threat.

Sharing files outside of the organization can either be done by first decrypting the file, which is a logged event, or by creating a password for the file that will allow the file to be opened.

"It's a great opportunity for channel partners because what they can go in and do now is [say], 'This is not just a sale of encryption but it's tied in with mobile,'" Ward said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM