Hewlett-Packard Company has stepped up its enterprise security software game with the announcement of its forthcoming acquisition of data-encryption specialists Voltage Security Inc., for an undisclosed sum.
Voltage Security has built a data encryption and tokenization solution that can be applied to distributed file storage systems like Hadoop, databases, application and email data, no matter where that data resides. The idea is that companies can protect their data without needing to re-architect their applications, even when using Big Data and cloud solutions, and it seems to have caught on – back in 2013, the firm was named by research outfit Gartner as a visionary in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for data marketing tech.
In its press release, HP said Voltage Security would be folded into HP Atalla, its security division that already offers a tokenization solution that’s popular with financial service providers. Art Gilliland, Senior Vice President of HP Security Enterprise Products, expanded on that in a blog post, saying that the company plans to leverage Voltage Security’s solutions to offer its customers “unparalleled data protection capabilities built to close the gaps” that exist in current tokenization and encryption services.
“This is particularly important for enterprises that interact with financial payments systems, manage workloads in the cloud, or whose sensitive data flows into Hadoop for analytics, making them attractive targets for cyberattackers,” Gilliland wrote. “Data security has become more than just an IT issue, but a business imperative and a global security priority.”
There could be more to the deal than just Voltage Security’s technology though, said Jed Ayres, chief marketing officer for IT solutions and services provider MCPc Inc., in an interview with CRN.com. Ayres noted the existing relationships Voltage Security has with dozens of major corporations in the US and worldwide, and said the deal would give HP access to IT decision makers in many of organizations.
“This puts HP and partners front and center into some of the very topical conversations CEOs and boards of directors are having around things like the Anthem and Sony breaches where you have confidential consumer data that has gotten into the wrong hands,” said Ayres, noting that HP will be offer solutions to prevent these kinds of breaches. “[the technology] totally changes how data is protected by large financial companies.”
Voltage Security alluded to this in its own statement, saying that HP possesses the resources and scale needed to support its customers. “With Voltage, HP will offer customers unparalleled data protection capabilities built to close the gaps that exist in traditional encryption and tokenization approaches,” the company said.
Data encryption companies appear to be in vogue these days, catching the attention of IT’s biggest vendors. Last year saw several major acquisitions in the field, with Microsoft snapping up Aorato to bolster its Active Directory security portfolio, BAE Systems plc purchasing SilverSky to enhance its cybersecurity offerings, and IBM buying Lighthouse Security Group LLC to gain its cloud encryption gateway technology.