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Financial Firm Finds Safety in Encryption

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When it comes to data security, CNL Financial Group, one of the country’s largest private real estate investment and development companies, wants to be a leader in its industry. To meet that objective, CNL recently deployed a storage security appliance from Decru Inc. for encrypted tape backup.

”Privacy and confidentiality of our customer data is what drove us to look for an encryption-type solution,” says Joel Schwalbe, vice president of technical services at CNL.

With too many headline stories about high-profile companies losing unencrypted tapes, Orlando, Fla.-based CNL, with $13 billion in assets, wasn’t looking to become tomorrow’s news.

According to Schwalbe, CNL backs up and moves 12 terabytes of enterprise data daily.

Time for a Change

Like many organizations required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to store backup data offsite, CNL complied, conducting standard unencrypted backup of internal data. The process worked fine for the company until reports of security breaches at financial institutions such as Bank of America and CitiFinancial made headlines.

”We decided that we wanted the flexibility to encrypt backup data that left the premises, but not necessarily encrypt data that remained on site,” says Schwalbe.

CNL has a traditional IT environment, with a backup and restore solution that includes Veritas NetBackup software and Overland tape libraries with high-performance LTO-3 tape drives. Backup supports more than 80 servers located in the company’s data center. Servers run business applications, office automation applications and traditional file storage.

The decision to encrypt off-site tape backup was made at the beginning of the summer, according to Schwalbe.

”We were looking for a solution that provided ease of implementation, good cost-performance, and a vendor with expertise in this space,” he says.

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