Safestone Re-emerges with New Corporate Identity, i OS Security Tools
Published: June 10, 2008
by Alex Woodie
It's been a couple of years since we've heard from the folks at Safestone, the i OS (formerly i5/OS) security software developer based in England. Despite a low public profile, it's recently made a series of announcements concerning new security tools, a new Web site, and a new corporate identity that are seemingly aimed at reassuring the market that it hasn't disappeared, and is committed to enhancing its collection of i OS security tools.
Since it was formed in 2000 following the acquisition of a company called CCT by SoftScreen, Safestone (also known as SafeStone Technologies) has been serving the market for i OS security software (or OS/400 as it was then known) in Europe and North America with DetectIT, its flagship product suite. Today, Safestone counts about 500 users of DetectIT, which includes modules for exit point monitoring, intrusion detection, user profile management, password reset, auditing, and regulatory compliance.
Safestone made its latest addition to DetectIT in March, when it announced the Smart Security Console. This new module is aimed at streamlining the auditing and reporting tasks that regulatory compliance demands of companies, and to translate esoteric i OS jargon into "plain English" terminology that even people without technical backgrounds can understand.
So, instead of hiring an army of technical staff to pour over i OS security settings and reports, companies can accomplish the same thing using the Smart Security Console, with its collection of color diagrams, graphical interface, and easy-to-read reports for specific SOX, PCI, Basel II and HIPAA requirements.
The new offering will be welcomed by companies forced to embrace security management initiatives, but lacking the necessary expertise and resources, says John Todd, CEO of Safestone. "DetectIT Smart Security Console has been designed to meet the demand for simplified System i security and compliance reporting which can be used by non-technical staff, relieving the burden and cost from the IT department."
The Smart Security Console was rolled out two months ago along with version 12.3 of the DetectIT suite. In addition to the new module, version 12.3 introduces support for i 6.1 (formerly i5/OS V6R1), the new version of the operating system launched by IBM in March.
Safestone didn't have as much trouble supporting i 6.1 as some security software ISVs, says Philip Johnson, director of development for Safestone. "This major OS release sees some ISVs using non-IBM 'system state' programs having to potentially rewrite large chunks of their software if they are to remain competitive, as these will no longer be supported by V6R1," he says. "DetectIT has no such issues and will continue to support changes to i5/OS and beyond, ensuring any investment is future-proofed."
Safestone is reassuring its current and prospective customers that it's firmly committed to the i OS platform, and will still be serving this market for years to come. To that end, the company launched a new corporate identity and a new Web site in March to show it's still in the business of writing security and compliance software for the platform.
"We are still the same company, and hope that our new identity will demonstrate that Safestone understands the complex regulatory challenges facing organizations," Johnson says. "The importance of information security will only continue to grow as the System i evolves."
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