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Brit infosec firm lets hackers think they've stolen something

ClearSwift has scored an almost-accidental success with [REDACTED] tech

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Security strategies generally concentrate on keeping the bad guys out, but British security outfit ClearSwift has stumbled upon another approach: if the bad guys get in, let them out with something. But scrub it clean on the way out the door.

ClearSwift is the latest home for content-screening technologies first developed in the mid-90s by Content Technologies, which made hay when organisations like law firms that were adopting email figured out it wasn't a good idea for confidential files to fly out of their buildings as attachments.

Content security, these days often referred to as data loss prevention (DLP), has been around ever since but has often made its way into security packages as a feature. ClearSwift's CEO Heath Davies would rather than weren't the case but is pragmatic enough to build links between his products and others from the likes of BlueCoat to help those who want one management console to rule them all so that ClearSwift isn't pigeon-holed as a point solution.

The company's also innovating, and with a new technique called “adaptive redaction” seems to have hit on something interesting.

As the name suggests, adaptive redaction scrubs sensitive data. The “adaptive” part refers to the fact that when ClearSwift's products spot content heading out the door it will let it go on its merry way … once it has been fuzzed into something that in no way resembles the original and contains nothing of use. The redaction happens as a result of policies that describe data forbidden to go beyond he firewall. When those policies are triggered, the company's wares wipe document data and metadata. Logs then offer some insight into what just happened.

Davies says that since adaptive redaction's introduction in late 2013, it has handily outsold ClearSwift's core products. The technology is therefore an important part of his plans to double the company's revenue in coming years.

The channel will help, too. By 2017 Davies expects all sales will come from partners, a tactic he expects will fuel expansion around the world. ®

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