Encryption Firm Looks to Channel to Capitalize on LapsesBy John Hazard | Print
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The U.K.'s Data Encryption Systems adds U.S. resellers, starting with T3, which has designs on a solution for the Feds to transfer sensitive data in laptops instead of suitcases.
U.K. data encryption specialist Data Encryption Systems has been acquiring U.S. partners in the hopes of capitalizing on a new product and awareness following a slew of high-profile data security lapses in 2006.
In December, DES signed T3, a Centerville, Va.-based security software reseller specializing in federal government clients, which has designs to build a solution using the vendor's DESlock+ product that will allow agencies to transfer sensitive data in laptops instead of suitcases.
DES, in business since 1985, has sold DESlock+ directly in Europe for several years, but officials said the market, now boiling over with awareness and concern over data breaches following a rash of high-profile incidents and pending legislation to formalize encryption practices, was ripe for its solution portfolio, said Steve Sharp, sales manager at Data Encryption Systems, of Somerset, England. The vendor sought a channel to go to market wide and fast, Sharp said.
"We want to strike while the iron is hot," Sharp said. "We joke in the U.K. that our best advertising campaign is the 9 o'clock news. Every night there's news of a PC stolen from a business or agency with 20,000 names and social security numbers on it."
DESlock+ encrypts documents, folders, disks, removable storage media, e-mail messages prior to transmission, compressed archives and clipboard contents using a system of encryption keys so that only defined users can exchange encrypted documents with others, who must also use a special, shared key to decrypt the document.
DES hired Sharp, formerly of Capital C, which advises startup vendors on channel development, after the launch of DESlock+ in December, hoping to reach those new markets fast as governments and businesses took note of their own vulnerability following what seemed to be endless reports of lost and stolen data sources in 2006, according to the company. Sharp was previously a channel executive at Hitachi Europe and Panasonic.
DES chose T3 because it was a leading distributor of DES' main competitor and the opportunity presented by the federal government's expected crackdown on data encryption in response to data breaches at several federal agencies.
DES recently signed Tech Corp, a security practice in Brazil, and is about to do the same with a local government VAR based in San Diego and an SMB (small and midsize business) VAR in Washington, D.C.
It is searching for the right partner to bring it to the enterprise now that the market is there, Sharp said.
"We felt when we launched the product that we were too early, that we were all at the dance and waiting for the girls to show," Sharp said. "Now the girls have shown and it's time to dance."