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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.

Last week, presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton unveiled a sprawling technology plan that included provisions for encryption and broader cybersecurity.

On paper it looks sensible. But there’s a massive trust problem -- not just for Clinton, but for the Federal Government as a whole.

The UK’s vote to break away from the European Union raises many questions about the future of the myriad data security laws affecting the entire continent.

A big focus of the 2016 European Legal Security Forum (July 12 at 155 Bishopsgate, London) is on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will require companies doing business in the European Union to better secure how they collect, store, and use personal information by 2018.

In keeping with the law’s central concepts of “data protection by design” and “data protection by default,” organisations must build stronger data security into their products and services and follow strict guidelines on how personal data may be used. Failure to comply will carry severe penalties of up to 4% of a company’s annual turnover (gross revenue). The law provides specific rules for data processors -- businesses that collect or manage data on behalf of a data controller:

Now that I’m settled in here at PKWARE, I’m going to do something I haven’t done since my journalist days: I’m going to interview people on a regular basis and work the feedback into a steady stream of analytical posts.

I’ll ask questions of my colleagues, for sure. But I’m also going to ask questions of people outside the company, particularly security practitioners who deal with the challenges our technology is designed to address.

This post is my opening salvo, an unscientific poll of sorts.

Among the 2016 cybersecurity predictions he made back in January, PKWARE CEO and President V. Miller Newton said a presidential campaign would be hacked before the November election.

That prediction has become reality, according to The Washington Post.

Ask PKWARE customers about the biggest challenge they face, and many respond with one word: compliance.

Every industry has separate mandates to worry about, such as HIPAA for healthcare, and PCI DSS for financial services. The common denominator in just about every compliance mandate is the need for Data Loss Prevention.

Overall, compliance requirements have been good for security. If it weren’t for these regulations and industry standards, many enterprises wouldn’t be doing nearly enough to safeguard sensitive data.

But there are risks in how enterprises handle compliance. A checkbox mentality often ensues, where companies put their primary focus on checking off the boxes on a list during a compliance audit.

Here at PKWARE, when we describe the types of adversaries our technology is designed to block, we say “thieves, snoops and idiots.”

The first two are easy to describe. The thief wants to break into enterprise networks and steal sensitive information and the snoop is either out to invade your privacy or is a trusted employee with access to information that, if shared with the outside world, could cause a lot of damage to the enterprise’s reputation.