Patrick Townsend Brings 256-Bit AES Encryption to DB2/400 Data
April 6, 2004 Alex Woodie
Patrick Townsend & Associates has added 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology to its Alliance FTP Manager product, for securing OS/400 data. The company says that the new encryption software will be a fine choice for securing sensitive data stored in DB2/400 databases, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information, and will assist with users’ compliance initiatives.
Alliance FTP Manager is an OS/400 utility that automates tasks related to sending and receiving database files and spool files to remote systems. Patrick Townsend & Associates made security an integral part of the product, with OS/400 implementations of 128-bit Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption (through an add-on module called the PGP Option) and 156-bit Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) encryption.
The new support for the National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s Advanced Encryption Standard in Alliance FTP Manager should simplify securing information stored in relational DB2 tables. With prior releases of the product, Patrick Townsend & Associates recommended that companies use 3DES encryption for securing DB2/400 data at the field level, and the company provided Alliance 3DES APIs for this purpose. Now, with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption, Patrick Townsend & Associates says it has a better way of securing data at the lowest level, even in third-party applications.
Support for the Advanced Encryption Standard in Alliance FTP Manager has many uses, Patrick Townsend & Associates says. In addition to securing sensitive data in relational DB2 tables, it can be used to distribute data in self-decrypting archives, to secure printed reports for transmission over the Internet, and for integrating strong encryption technology into users’ line-of-business applications. Applications can be modified to implement the Advanced Encryption Standard with little or no changes to the relational database, the company says. Alliance FTP Manager also provides Advanced Encryption Standard management capabilities and APIs for integrating the Advanced Encryption Standard with third-party applications.
There’s a key advantage in packaging files into self-decrypting archives, the company says: The recipient does not need to install any additional software. The self-decrypting archive validates security information and decrypts files automatically. This would be useful for companies that want to distribute sensitive reports and data from their OS/400 servers to their Windows clients but don’t want to hassle with administering the security software on their PCs.
Pat Townsend, company president, says the new Advanced Encryption Standard capability will help customers meet federal and state mandates for privacy. “Our enterprise customers are concerned about meeting the security requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the California security notification law, and the medical privacy requirements of HIPAA,” he says. “This enhancement to our AS/400 security suite will help AS/400 customers meet those challenges.”
Pat Townsend says the Advanced Encryption Standard is an integral component of Alliance FTP Manager. Pricing for the product is tier-based and ranges from $2,500 to $8,500. For more information, go to www.patownsend.com.