Gemalto SafeNet: Database Security Product Overview and Analysis

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Bottom Line

For those focused on smart cards and SIM cards, Gemalto is a top contender as an encryption product. For those with more general DB encryption needs or requiring more than encryption, it may be a little too specialized.

Product Description

SafeNet ProtectDB provides transparent column-level encryption of structured, sensitive data residing in databases. It is used to protect credit card numbers, social security numbers, national ID numbers, passwords, account numbers and balances, email addresses, and more.

Large amounts of information can be rapidly moved in and out of data stores by encrypting and decrypting fields in a database. No changes are required to associated applications, and SafeNet ProtectDB can scale to support multiple data centers in on-premises, virtual, and public cloud environments.

Database Security Features Rated

Databases Served: Good

Gemalto supports Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2 databases.

Problem Solved: Very good

Gemalto transparently and efficiently handles database encryption of sensitive column-level data, working in tandem with Gemalto’s FIPS 140-2 up to Level 3 validated SafeNet KeySecure enterprise key manager to provide complete ownership and centralized administration of all keys and policies. It solves the problem of having to encrypt the entire DB by allowing the user to focus on select fields such as credit card info or social security numbers. This means it can encrypt and decrypt data in a fraction of the time that it might take for the entire file.

Value: Good

Gemalto keeps costs low and provides good functionality.

Implementation: Very good

Gemalto is easy to implement in on-premises, virtual, and public cloud environments.

Management: Very good

Gemalto provides centralized administration of all keys and policies. Granular access controls can be applied based upon role, user, time of day, and other variables, including the ability to prevent DBAs from impersonating another user. Automated key rotation and data re-keying, as well as logging and auditing capabilities, are included.

Support: Fair

KuppingerCole said Gemalto has one of the largest ecosystems of technology partners as well as broad support for applications, database types, environments. Gemalto can run on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX. However, its customer support could use improvement.

“Installation and features are good, but support is not world class for sure. It’s not easy to get the [needed] response from support unless involving [a] customer executive to expedite,” said a Senior Product Manager in the Services Industry.

Cloud Features: Good

Gemalto makes it easy to move forward with cloud and virtualization initiatives without compromising security posture or giving up control and ownership of data and keys. “Chef Recipes” in Gemalto are available to help provide automation of cloud set up. Gemalto supports Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM Softlayer.



By appliance and via cloud service




Not available, although one user said Gemalto was low in cost relative to competing offerings.

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