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Symantec Expands Data Encryption Options for Veritas NetBackup


New NetBackup Media Server Encryption Option Provides Cost-Effective, Robust Solution to Protect Backup Data on Tape As It Goes Offsite

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Dec. 12, 2006 – Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today announced the Veritas NetBackup Media Server Encryption Option (MSEO). NetBackup MSEO encrypts at the media server and offers a cost-effective, easy to manage solution that is based on the industry’s most robust encryption methods available for securing enterprise backup tapes. Scheduled to be available in January 2007, MSEO addresses the risk associated with transporting tapes offsite by encrypting backup data at the media server.

MSEO is a cost-effective approach because it doesn’t require an expensive encryption appliance yet has the capacity to encrypt large amounts of backup data. Since MSEO works within existing NetBackup policies and backs-up all existing NetBackup clients it is easy to manage. Furthermore, encryption at the media server results in negligible impact to the client where key critical operations take place thus increasing end-user productivity.

Over the last year, several high-profile cases of lost or stolen backup tapes that exposed thousands of confidential health and financial records demonstrated the need to encrypt sensitive data contained on backup tapes. As a result, a number of state and federal laws place strict compliance requirements on the manner in which organizations must protect sensitive data.

“Transporting unencrypted backup tapes offsite poses a huge risk for organizations, especially those that handle a high volume of confidential data such as financial or healthcare organizations,” said Mike Adams, group product marketing manager, Symantec. “Tapes can be lost or stolen. For many companies, the choice to encrypt mitigates against this risk. We feel that Symantec’s media server encryption option strikes the right balance of simple management and operation, cost-effectiveness, and powerful encryption strength.”

There are several options for performing backup encryption. Some, like Symantec NetBackup Client Encryption Option, encrypt at the client. For clients with modest encryption needs this option works well, but may not be efficient for larger organizations with more widespread needs. Other options, such as encryption appliances and tape drives that offer encryption, can be expensive and difficult to manage since they operate outside of the backup system. MSEO offers easy setup through the NetBackup interface along with providing compression and the ability to encrypt popular backup jobs such as Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) and disk staging. Additionally, MSEO allows for massive scalability as many NetBackup clients can send data to a central media server for encrypted protection.

Simplified Management

Symantec employs a centralized approach that simplifies management. The Media Server Encryption Option centralizes encryption key management by automatically and centrally tracking which key was used for which tape via the “set it and forget it” key management feature, eliminating the burden of customers having to manually create and track encryption keys. Other features which help simplify management include:

* Central management of the encryption process across multiple NetBackup domains;
* Scalability to accommodate complex combinations of media servers;
* Works with any NetBackup clients;
* Flexibility to encrypt the specific data customers want to encrypt, using the compression algorithms and encryption strengths best suited to their environment, streamlining backup operations; Key store recovery at the disaster recovery site enables recovery of encrypted backups.

Centralized Encryption Provides Efficient, Cost Effective Solution

Symantec’s NetBackup Media Server Encryption Option encrypts backup data at a centralized NetBackup media server instead of at the client or on dedicated encryption appliances. This approach provides key benefits for organizations:

* Minimal effect on backup windows;
* Lower capital costs – no need to procure separate hardware encryption devices;
* Lower operational costs – does not require dedicated staff to manage and the encryption process can be managed within the NetBackup policy itself;
* Supports the most common backup operations including sophisticated techniques such as disk staging to tape, the creation of tape copies for off-site purposes and the backup of NAS devices (via remote NDMP).

Strong, Standards-Based Encryption

To help ensure maximum protection and coverage, Symantec’s NetBackup MSEO is based on leading industry standards. The encryption uses the AES encryption standard and supports either 128- or 256-bit key sizes.

“We provide healthcare and pension services to more than 45,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild and their dependents and protecting their personal information is vital to our organization,” explains Kevin Donnellan, assistant chief information officer, Screen Actors Guild – Producers Pension and Health Plans. “Symantec’s NetBackup MSEO provides us with a centralized, cost-effective way to encrypt this sensitive data to help us meet HIPAA requirements, minimize IT risk, and ensure the privacy of our members.”

Backup and recovery information often represents a complete mirror of existing corporate and customer data, making its security as important as primary sources of storage. When companies move unencrypted backup information by tape or disk to an offsite location, they expose private customer data, corporate financial data, and intellectual property to significant risk. Encrypting backup and recovery data provides organizations with an important layer of protection.

“The amount of data being moved around constantly increases and so does the possible exposure for companies,” according to Jon Oltsik, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. “If data becomes exposed due to tape theft or loss, companies face damage to their reputation as well as the possibility of heavy fines from government agencies. That’s why we are recommending that companies make encryption a standard component of their backup process when tapes need to travel offsite. NetBackup MSEO is an excellent solution for this problem.”


The product is scheduled for general availability in January 2007. At that time the product will be available from Symantec’s worldwide network of value-added resellers, distributors, and systems integrators. MSEO will be available for NetBackup v.5.1 and v.6.0 and will complement NetBackup’s existing Client Encryption Option (CEO), which encrypts backup data at the client.

About Symantec

Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at

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