Data Watch Looks to Secure External Storage
It seems hardly a week goes by that news doesn't break about yet another data breach in which troves of sensitive information goes missing.
At a time when mobility is becoming a defining characteristic of the modern workforce while data volumes are on an exponential rise, many businesses are considering space-saving, secure external storage devices.
Data Watch Technologies, a seven-year-old firm specializing in data storage and security, offers an array of RAID solutions that pair with its line of portable hard-drive enclosures. The idea is to couple security with mobility, giving workers the ability to take their office with them, securely, without needing to bother the IT department.
"Commercial enterprises are used to counting on server RAID or rack to back up company data, and encryption software to encrypt data at rest," said Angel Ku, Data Watch Technologies' director of business development. "Data Watch Technologies provides device RAID, which requires no IT expertise, and chip-set based encryption ... solutions to fulfill the data security needs of enterprises, SOHOs (small office/home office) and professionals."
Data Watch Technologies caters to an array of industries where data security is a primary concern, including finance, government and military.
The Taiwan-based company's flagship offering is the DataTale product line, specializing in external storage management solutions. The firm's recent focus has been RAID, which it sees as an elegant technology in an era of big data and growing complexity. Those RAID systems pair with its line of portable, secure 3.5-inch hard-drive enclosures, which offer plug-and-play connections with host computers via USB 2.0, eSATA,1394a and 1394b ports.
"When the data types become more complicated, and volume becomes larger and larger, we think RAID systems are a more efficient tool for corporate users for data backup, and hardware encryption is the best mechanism to prevent stolen data even when the hard drive needs to be carried around," Ku said.
Most recently, Data Watch moved into USB 3.0 with the release of the Crystal USB 3.0 3.5-inch hard drive enclosure, offering backward compatibility with USB 2.0 hosts. Data Watch boasts that the product represents a tenfold increase in data processing speeds.
The RAID line includes three 4-bay external storage systems with varying feature sets that cater to specific industries, each compatible with Data Watch's portable hard-drive enclosures.
Perhaps the biggest roadblock that Data Watch faces as it pursues new customers is cultural. It has to do with the way people view security, according to Ku. Data Watch's message is that with the right technology, the breaches that too often create a public relations nightmare for businesses, and potentially expose them to legal liability, can in many cases be avoided in the first place.
"Data security awareness is our greatest challenge in winning over new users of our products," Ku said. "Many users think that data security is an MIS function. When data is lost, they ask a company IT expert for help, when in fact that step can be avoided by the user."
In that spirit, Data Watch's approach focuses on prevention.
"Preventing lost or stolen data is more important than 'saving the data,'" Ku said. "This is especially true for data being generated outside the office, and carried from location to location."
Next year, Data Watch is planning to step up its focus on shared storage with the release of a line of NAS products, according to Ku.
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here