Check Point plans to release document security software

Check Point Software Technologies plans to introduce document security software that encrypts and controls access to files across an organization’s various departments and also meets the growing need for corporate users to access company information on mobile devices, a company executive said.

The product is an offshoot of Check Point’s 2010 acquisition of data protection startup Liquid Machines and will be offered both as a cloud service managed by Check Point or for deployment by customers in private clouds, said Amnon Bar-Lev, president of Check Point, in an interview on Tuesday.

Documents in a variety of formats including those created in Microsoft Excel, Word and Adobe Acrobat can be created with different rights assigned to different users, said Bar-Lev. The default can for example be set to ensure that all the documents can only be read by people in the enterprise.

“If someone were to leak out information, then nobody outside can read it,” Bar-Lev said. “Then we can start building groups on top of it, allowing only HR or only finance, or only a specific individual to be able to read or do certain things with certain documents.” Documents may also be shared outside the organization with certain restrictions.

The technology, set to debut by the end of this year, will also enable authorized users to access the documents through clients on their smartphones.

Besides its VPN (virtual private network) client for mobile phones, the company also plans to integrate corporate email and calendar into the client in a totally isolated environment, called a sandbox, on the device.

The large number of high-profile hacks and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks have increased people’s awareness of the importance of security, but enterprise spending on security has not changed dramatically, and is likely to continue at about five per cent of IT spending, Bar-Lev said. Security spending is still largely driven by regulation, as it is not seen as directly producing something for the organization, he added. Current economic conditions including the European debt crisis are also likely to result in a slowdown in overall IT spending, including security.

The Israeli security company, with U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, California, reported on Wednesday that second quarter revenue was about $329 million, a nine per cent increase over last year’s second quarter. Net profit was $150 million, an increase of 17 percent from 2011’s second quarter.

During the quarter, the company introduced its DDoS Protector Appliance, which is designed to handle a new type of “low and slow” DDoS attacks that attack specific applications rather than try to overwhelm the website with a brute force attack that chokes the pipe, Bar-Lev said. In earlier DDoS attacks, the enterprise would count on the service provider to re-route and filter DDoS traffic when there was an attack, but with the changed nature of the attacks, this is not really the best option, he said.

Check Point also introduced the Anti-Bot software blade that can be activated on every Check Point enterprise gateway, monitoring traffic for bots on the network rather than at the endpoints. It saw a requirement for this product as 80 percent of spam and most DDoS attacks are now executed through bots, Bar-Lev said. Its ThreatCloud, a collaborative network to fight cybercrime, also allows gateways to automatically inform other participating Check Point gateways about bots and where they are originating from. Bots are applications that run automated and repetitive tasks on the Internet, and are often used for malicious purposes.

Appliances that combine hardware and software account for over 85 percent of Check Point’s product business, because they give customers simplicity, Bar-Lev said. The company also gives customers the option to buy the software and run it on other appliances or hardware.

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