Voltage unveils 'format-preserving' encryption tools

Sensitive data, such as credit card or Social Security numbers can be encrypted and still have its format preserved

Voltage Security announced a software tool kit for adding what is known as "format-preserving encryption" to new and legacy applications.

Format-preserving encryption is a technique for applying strong encryption to specific fields of structured data stored in a database in a way that doesn't alter the size of the field, says Mark Bower, director of information protection solutions at Voltage. This has generally proven hard to do with encryption, but academic researcher Phil Rogaway pioneered a technique several years ago that Voltage is putting into practice in its SecureData tool kit, he said.

Sensitive data, such as credit card or Social Security numbers -- the type of sensitive data that managers might want hidden -- can be encrypted and still have its format preserved, rather than ending up looking "a bit like a blog after encryption," says Bower.

The Voltage tool kit, designed for use with C, C++ or Java applications, is especially well-suited for use in encrypting sensitive data associated with Web services, says Bower. The cryptographic algorithm supported in the tool kit is 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard.

The tool kit, available now, starts at US$35,000.

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