VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtual desktops get encryption security

AFORE Solutions today announced encryption software aimed at securing data in virtualized environments where Microsoft Windows applications are used, including virtualized desktop infrastructure deployments based on VMware, Citrix or Microsoft VDI.

AFORE's CypherX software can be used by either cloud providers on behalf of their customers or directly by the enterprise users in a private cloud deployment, according to the security firm's chairman and chief strategy officer, Jon Reeves. "This is intended for secure storage in the cloud," Reeves said about CypherX. "It sits between the application and the operating system itself in order to lock down applications. It encrypts all information flowing in and out, the file system, and the network or the clipboard."

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Using standard AES 256-bit encryption, CypherX works on  multiple hypervisors, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Xen and KVM. It supports multiple desktop virtualization platforms, including VMware's Horizon View, Citrix XenDesktop, and Microsoft's VDI.

CypherX has an App Lockdown feature that acts as a virtual container for applications, and so-called "CypherZones" can be set up to extend security between groups of protected applications. CypherX Manager, which can be integrated with Active Directory and RSA Data Protection Manager, is used to provide centralized control of security policy across virtual machines.

"You pick which applications need to be secured, say a hosted medical record, and it's set up as a trusted application and everything coming in or out is encrypted," Reeves says. CypherX allows the security manager to establish a control process in which only authorized users on validated machines can access an application certified as trusted. Reeves says CypherX in some regards can be compared to information rights management systems from Microsoft or Oracle in its functionality.

Ottawa, Canada-based AFORE's other product, CloudLink Secure VSA, is a virtual storage appliance used for encryption in VMware Vblock infrastructures.

Now in beta tests with a number of cloud providers, CypherX starts at $150 per seat, though less based on volume, and is expected to be generally available in the October timeframe.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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