WinMagic®, a global innovator in disk encryption, has been named the Encryption Innovator of the year by SC Magazine. The December, “Innovator,” issue recognizes companies that have the vision, imagination and creative management that reflects leadership in the security industry.
WinMagic was recognized for its numerous encryption and data protection firsts since being founded in 1997. WinMagic’s latest innovation, SecureDoc with PBConnex, the first FDE solution with pre-boot networking, was commended for simplifying strong data protection for users and administrators. “WinMagic’s PBConnex is based on the premise that typical encryption technology is too complicated and disruptive,” noted Peter Stephenson, technology editor, SC Magazine. “It should, in fact, behave as if it were not encrypted. That calls for an emphasis on ease of use, as well as effective protection. Encryption done wrong can cause too many disruptions, and that is a weakness that needs to be overcome.”
PBConnex is an important milestone in a long series of WinMagic innovations. “[WinMagic’s first solution] was not just any full disk encryption product,” explained Stephenson. “The company was, in fact, the first full disk encryption (FDE) provider to introduce true key management by using a key-labeling design. Not satisfied with that, WinMagic introduced the client design using [cryptographic token interface standard] PKCS#11 from the ground up. The following year, it became the first FDE provider to introduce encryption for floppy, ZIP drives and USBs. And since those years, this Innovator never has looked back. Over the years, it has introduced secret-level encryption for the U.S. government by means of hardware encryption via the Fortezza card, provided FDE for the U.S. National Security Agency, and received the first ever NIST certification for advanced encryption standard (AES), among many other accomplishments.”
This year PBConnex was recognized as a key solution which eliminates the need to either manually add/remove access for each individual user for each device or enable autoboot when rolling out new software. Having to manually add/remove access inconveniences users, while autoboot disables the strong authentication mechanisms intended to secure local data – leaving user passwords vulnerable if the device is taken outside of a security zone. As PBConnex enables the system to instantly recognize if a device is removed from the secure zone during boot time and deny access, administrators do not inconvenience users as software can be securely rolled out during off hours.
Stephenson also praised WinMagic for working with its customers to develop innovative solutions to real-world data protection problems. “Further, response to customer needs, including customization, brings value to the customer,” wrote Stephenson. “That is something we almost never hear. The idea of customization strikes terror in the hearts of companies in the production software business. However, this Innovator uses requests for customization from customers as a way to introduce general improvements into the product.”
“We are extremely proud to be named an SC Magazine Innovator of the Year,” said Thi Nguyen-Huu, CEO of WinMagic Inc. “We believe that it should be simple to deploy, manage and use encrypted devices and our continuing innovation is making this goal a reality now. Our latest innovation, PBConnex, is a huge step forward as it enables administrators to utilize all the same management tools and processes for encrypted endpoints as unencrypted endpoints, enables IT departments to reduce the FDE Total Cost of Ownership and makes encryption virtually transparent to the user. WinMagic will continue to raise the bar in the encryption industry to increase data security and drive ease of use.”