Users reach for new IO connnections
Keeping Up with Unix's Critical Hacks

Hardware appliance links up MPE encryption

Q3 HP 3000 sites are encountering a growing need to encrypt data, or at least secure it during transfers. Secure FTP protocol was never delivered as an HP-engineered solution for the MPE/iX OS while the Hewlett-Packard labs were building 3000 software.

Several software companies have offered encryption solutions for various scenarios. Orbit Software's Backup+/iX encrypts data during backups. For the part of the 3000 market that still uses TurboStore, however Orbit's software requires a move away from the HP software -- which isn't supported now that HP's gone out of the 3000 support business.

FluentEdge Technologies encrypts data moving through applications, as well as databases themselves, using software solutions that tap into apps and don't require any rewrites

But a hardware solution that's been tested with the 3000 may offer a different method to keeping data secure in transit. Jack Connor of Abtech reports that 10ZiG's Security Group offers "data-at-rest" security solutions, including the Q3 and Q3i appliances, one of which Connor put between a Digital Linear Tape device and a 3000. The results impressed him for a device that costs a few thousand dollars -- and will work with any host.

Connor, who supports HP servers at Abtech and serves on the OpenMPE board of directors (along with Orbit's Keith Wadsworth), found the hardware solution provided security to beat any SFTP transfer option.

I tested an encryption box that sits between the DLT and IO card a year or so ago and it worked like a champ. It maintained streaming mode and all. However, I believe it was in the $2,000-$3,000 range — and to be useful for a DR world, it would require two, so I haven't pursued actually recommending it.

3000 customers are using their systems in e-commerce applications today, even though some in the community say the credit card processors' PCI DSS security rules might block such use. But the Q3 webpage lists PCI specifically as a security standard served by this standalone box.

10ZiG's Q3 storage encryption solution assists in your compliance with the PCI Standard by protecting your customer's data with encryption. The Q3 storage security appliance encrypts data at rest without effecting your current backup procedures. Installation is quick and key management is strong yet simple.

One of the testamonials on the Q3 webpage comes from the Series i IBM community, a group of servers whose OS is just as unique and specialized as MPE/iX.