PGP platform tackles data breaches

The PGP Endpoint security system is intended to transparently ensure the security of PCs, mobile devices, ports and wireless links

PGP Corporation, best known for its encryption platform, is targeting the ongoing problem of data breaches through mobile devices with a new system called 'PGP Endpoint'.

The system, launched on Tuesday, is an extension of PGP's encryption platform, and is designed to allow administrators to centrally manage policies for various types of devices, including laptops, desktops, mobile devices and removable storage, such as USB drives, CDs and DVDs. It lets administrators control the use of ports, as well as that of mobile link technologies, such as Wi-Fi, FireWire and Bluetooth, PGP said.

The platform is aimed at addressing the difficulties experienced by organisations in preventing data breaches, whether intentional or accidental, some of which have been high-profile, such as HM Revenue & Customs' loss of tens of millions of confidential records.

PGP's system allows administrators to set policies for their devices and connections, for instance requiring that certain types of devices are either disallowed or encrypted. If encryption is required, PGP Endpoint encrypts the device or connection without requiring any user interaction, the company said.

Administrators can specify what types of use particular devices are authorised for, and can review device-usage logs and monitor the content of the data transferred. The system can be used with PGP's full-disk encryption system.

PGP Endpoint is available now, with pricing beginning at $49 (£24) per seat.

In April, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it had been notified of almost 100 data breaches by public, private and third-sector organisations in the previous six months. The public sector accounted for 62 breaches and the private sector for 28.

The ICO said half of the private-sector breaches were reported by financial institutions. Of the public-sector lapses, almost a third occurred in central government, and a fifth in the NHS.

The breaches included unencrypted laptops going missing, as well as computer discs, memory sticks and paper records. Information was stolen, or went missing in the post or while in transit with a courier. The ICO said the material that was lost included a wide range of personal details, such as financial and health records.

The Ministry of Defence announced in May it would begin using password-protected disk encryption from BeCrypt, following several embarrassing data losses.'s Nick Heath contributed to this report.