Thales Blog

Test Driving Vormetric Transparent Encryption On Google Cloud Platform

March 7, 2017

Eric Wolff Eric Wolff | Senior Product Marketing Manager More About This Author >

You can read every review about a car, but you won’t begin to appreciate it until you go to a dealer and drive it. So it goes with nearly any product.

For information technology buyers, it’s a big challenge: IT product vendors layer additional capabilities and features on core products. You read about them on data sheets, watch demonstration videos, even start to touch products at trade show demos (often with a member of staff standing a bit too close). But like a car, you need to take a product out for a spin if you want to love it enough to buy it.

I joined Vormetric a while back to manage marketing activities for our “cloud route to market”, including private (e.g. Rackspace) and public cloud providers such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Sure, I read the data sheets, went to training sessions, and could talk the talk after a few weeks. But I could not really dream Vormetric Transparent Encryption until a few weeks ago.

Let’s talk non-cloud for a bit. Potential customers for Vormetric Transparent Encryption enjoy a time-honored process for running “trials” or a proof of concept: as part of the sales engagement, for an on-premises deployment, a Thales systems engineer delivers a virtual appliance image of the Vormetric Data Security Manager, several demo licenses, and operating-specific installers of the Vormetric Transparent Encryption Agents. The customer installs the Data Security Manager virtual appliance and spins up some virtual machines – say, Windows and Linux. Then, the sales engineer walks them through setting up protection rules, delivers keys to agents on the hosts…and then…finally, shows cool features such as privileged user access control and security intelligence logging. It’s a warm and fuzzy process – relationships get established, friends made, products sold and bought.

Test Driving Vormetric

It’s different in the cloud. Everything is cool, menu-driven, and self-service. Except the “walking through” and “setting up” processes. There is no friendly sales engineer. How can an IT buyer fall in love with a multi-faceted and featured product?

Enter the “test drive”, using the Orbitera platform, which allows businesses to try software before buying it — no software license, credit card or even cloud account required. Because the software installation and setup were done by Orbitera via Google Cloud Deployment Manager, using a recipe we gave to them a while back. Here’s a glance at that recipe:

  • A LINUX virtual machine equipped with three accounts, a Vormetric Transparent Encryption Agent, and a file in a folder that is designated for encryption by…
  • A virtual machine acting as the Vormetric Data Security Manager, already equipped with a demo license, configured with the IP address of the LINUX virtual machine, its Transparent Encryption Agent, and the folder – and with preconfigured instructions to encrypt the files in that folder. Also included are instructions for setting up file access logging for security intelligence

The entire experience can be implemented in less than 10 minutes!

In the fully-configured test drive environment, the cloud user is guided through actually seeing for themselves, using, for example, LINUX shell commands like cat and cp, advanced encryption that includes privileged user access control and file access logging. The three accounts on the LINUX virtual machine enable the test driver to see:

  • A user permitted to see encrypted data
  • A user who is not permitted to see data but who is allowed to see file system metadata
  • A root user, who can see file system metadata but not the data itself, even if the root user does a “su permitted user”

I ran the test drive. I ran it again! I did a few things myself – beyond what was in the guidebook. It was my sandbox! I made Vormetric Transparent Encryption do some things I wanted to do! Now I can dream Vormetric Transparent Encryption – and so can you.

Visit here to try Vormetric Transparent Encryption before buying it — no software license, credit card or even cloud account required. You can also learn more about the test drive, and some of our other recent Google Cloud announcements, by visiting booth C3 at Google Cloud Next.

Have comments about this blog? You can find me @cyberswimmer or on LinkedIn.