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Cloud Expo: Article

IronKey Morphs into Marble Cloud

Marble is meant to protect employee-owned iOS, Android, Windows and Linux mobile devices and desktop/laptop platforms

IronKey, the seven-year-old Internet security and privacy house, has changed its name to Marble Cloud in celebration of the introduction its new cloud security service.

Marble is meant to protect employee-owned iOS, Android, Windows and Linux mobile devices and desktop/laptop platforms.

The company says any user - contractor, remote worker, customer or supply chain partner - can securely access enterprise-provisioned public and private clouds from anywhere, on any of their own devices.

It's a hardened multi-layer environment that's supposed to be invulnerable - repeat, invulnerable - to Trojans, man-in-the-middle, man-in-the-browser, malevolent Wi-Fi networks, DNS poisoning and other state-of-the-threat attacks.

Being a toughie explains its less-than-fluffy new name.

Marble founder and CTO Dave Jevans says, "Internet and cloud security is fundamentally broken, and you don't need to look past the daily headlines about hackers' latest successes to know it."

Marble starts with the assumption that the endpoint and network connection are compromised.

IronKey originally got started on a grant from Homeland Security and subsequently did a lot of business with the US government.

The IronKey brand has just been turned over to Imation, which last year acquired the IronKey secure mobile storage business and products.

Jervans says, "IronKey is an extremely well-known brand in the security space, but it is very tightly tied to secure data storage; that identity now fits Imation's business better than ours. Today's name change marks an exciting new era and will help us to distinguish between our roots as the creators of the world's most secure storage and our future as the world's most secure way to surf the web and access cloud services, the brand identity we will build for Marble Cloud."

Marble, like iron, is a durable, hard object that lasts and lasts and, remembering his boyhood, Jervans explains that "marbles can contain internal secrets, like cats' eyes - or logins and secure documents - and keep them safe inside a hard shell - or a cryptographic container. You can carry marbles around in your pocket - or your smart phone, tablet or laptop - knowing they are ready to use yet secure. "

So then, Marble's cloud access management widgetry is supposed to secure BYOD and cloud services from any device, reducing costs, risks and complexity in today's extended IT infrastructures.

The solution is a combination of a Marble App, Marble Network and Marble Cloud management service. The company says it's nothing like detect-and-patch countermeasures such as antivirus, firewall and other signature-based solutions that remain vulnerable to zero-day attacks.

Employees and consultants can download and install the Marble App from anywhere. It's self-configuring based on policies defined by the enterprise on the Marble Cloud management service. The app is hardened and isolated from malware and keystroke loggers, which is said to be the safest way to access cloud services from any device.

The Marble Network is an on-the-go VPN service that encrypts all cloud access on any Wi-Fi hotspot in the world. Secure DNS with real-time blacklists prevents users from visiting phishing, malware distribution and other fraudulent web sites.

IT administrators use the Marble Cloud management service to define policies across PC and mobile device platforms for cloud access control, endpoint security, VPN configuration, cloud access whitelists, malware scanning and jailbreak detection.

A risk dashboard offers the admin full visibility and control including employee and consultant use of the system.

Marble Cloud will provide the widgetry to enterprises, banks and government agencies. It's supposed to protect users from malware on their own device and prevent data loss so companies feel safe enough from criminals, hactivists and malevolent nation-states to capitalize on cloud computing. It's also supposed to eliminate endpoint hardware and management costs.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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