Sybase Updates Encryption Software for Windows Mobile Data

One of the biggest risks enterprises face in rolling out PDAs and smart phones is data getting into the wrong hands if a device is lost or stolen. Sybase Inc.'s iAnywhere business unit today is rolling out software it said will help corporate developers address that threat.

A new version of Afaria, the security component of the company's Information Anywhere mobile management middleware suite, can encrypt and decrypt data for devices running Windows Mobile without degradation in performance, said Shari Freeman, director of product management.

Because it's interoperable with various device and software components, that should ease the process of programming encryption into applications that run on Windows Mobile devices, Freeman commented.

“One problem that enterprises and developers have had in the past, is making sure that their encryption technology was interoperating correctly with their applications,” she said. With the encryption component, Freeman said it can run in the background without locking a device while an application is running. As a result, it also has the benefit of improving battery life.

Enterprises Slow To Adopt
Getting enterprises to address the need for encryption on mobile devices is a major challenge, said Jack Gold, president and principal analyst of J. Gold Associates, LLC, Northborough, Mass. He estimates less than 25 percent of enterprises are adequately protecting corporate data that may be on these devices.

"It’s getting better but it's not advancing nearly as quickly as it should," Gold said. "Most companies simply rely on the device, which most of the time isn't that good, or an application they bought from someone, which also isn't very good.”

In addition to the threat of running afoul of various regulations in certain industries, many devices that now have large storage capabilities can store a significant amount of data that could put an enterprise competitively at risk.

The Sybase iAnywhere suite is widely used by enterprises that are running Windows Mobile, which is emerging as the fastest growing enterprise mobile platform, according to Gold. The new Afaria component is particularly suited for file level encryption, he said. Competitors in the encryption space include Credant Technologies, Check Point’s Pointsec Mobile Technologies and Trust Digital, noted Gold.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of and news editor of Visual Studio Magazine.