How PKWARE Became A Data Encryption Company

When PKWARE comes up in conversation, people often make the following comments:

  1. I didn’t know PKWARE was still around!
  2. Encryption? I thought PKWARE was about .ZIP file technology?

Thing is, this company has been going strong for a long time, providing encryption and compression solutions to more than 30,000 enterprise customers around the world. Our Smartcrypt technology has become a staple for organizations in the financial services, government, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing sectors.

For those unfamiliar with PKWARE’s history and trajectory, the overview below should clear up a few things.

The Road To Data Security

PKWARE was founded in 1986. It began with .ZIP, a portable data container for use on every enterprise platform, system and device type. At the time the company was known for its file-compression technology. But in recent years, its main focus has been data security.

How did this happen? In the 1980s and 90s, hard disks and network links were very expensive. To maximize these investments, compression technologies were sold to organizations with significant data, such as Financial Services, Healthcare and the Federal Government. In the early 2000s, these industries began to regulate data protection.

Since PKWARE had already solved the overhead issue for compression, and reduced the size of data by as much as 95%, it was only natural to combine compression and encryption in the same step with little to no additional overhead. Because PKZIP was already on desktops, servers and mainframes, the company was able to transition many customers to its data security solutions.

The company’s .ZIP roots are what makes Smartcrypt, SecureZIP and other products unique. There are other encryption companies in the marketplace, but PKWARE’s core technology protects data in a way no one else can. Solving the enterprise security problem can only be done at the data level.

Encryption Made Easy

To help companies encrypt all of their data without the turmoil, PKWARE created Smartcrypt.

Previously challenging tasks such as key generation, synchronization and exchange are completely automated, making the encryption process transparent to end users and easier for administrators to control. It consists of three components:

  • An end user application that encrypts and decrypts protected data on any enterprise operating system;
  • A web-based management console that gives administrators organization-wide control over encryption activities; and
  • The Smartcrypt Software Development Kit, which provides a simple way for developers to embed persistent data protection into existing applications.

Together, these components create a flexible data security solution that’s compatible with even the most complex enterprise architecture.

Business Needs

Customers use Smartcrypt to:

  • Protect critical information from thieves, snoops, and idiots
  • Eliminate the direct and indirect cost of a breach
  • Ensure data security compliance and eliminate penalties, fines and failed audits
  • Meet board of director requirements to protect reputation
  • Enhance data leakage prevention process and technology
  • Securely exchange sensitive information with customers and partners
  • Protect data at rest, in transit, and in use outside the organization
  • Maintain control over all enterprise encryption
  • Implement a corporate standard for encryption
Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

Journalist. Family man. Blogger. History buff. Heavy Metal fanatic. Frequent traveler. As senior content strategist, Bill Brenner writes about all manner of security threats and how PKWARE's data encryption technology can help. On the side he writes a personal blog called The OCD Diaries, chronicling his experiences with OCD and other challenges, and opines about the big security stories of the day via the Liquidmatrix Security Digest.

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