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guaranteeing the Australian government their intellectual property
rights would be protected, the Dtex HQ was established in Malaysia,
and the team expanded operations into China, Indonesia, and the
rest of Asia, in short order dominating the entire internal data security
market. Without even considering expansion to Africa, Dtex was
approached by a South African company called J2 which had
centred their entire business plan around addressing the newly
recognised internal security threat.
Almost immediately, J2 was able to secure a number of significant
customers including Sharp Electronics and Transnet, the country’s
privatised transport authority. The next logical move was to head east
to the tech-rich market of the United States, but Mohan knew there
was already competition there, while in Europe the internal data
security business had barely reached the concept stage. So in 2007,
with significant support from the British government’s UK Trade and
Investment agency (UKTI), Dtex established its European base in
Reading and started promoting SystemSkan.
This technology effectively traces information wherever it goes
throughout a company's network, no matter how complex, marking it
with every user’s digital DNA so wherever it turns up, you know who had
it last and where they got it from.
“Nobody really thought about internal data security in Europe until the
fallout from the Enron affair began to affect anyone who wanted to
do business with the United States,” he says. “If you remember, an
awful lot of sensitive company data was destroyed during the
investigation into Enron and into the role played by Arthur Andersen.
The judge in the case wondered why on earth nobody could identify
who had destroyed the data. It was clear that the lack of a data audit
The FSA's crackdown is creating such a demand that Dtex has
trail could allow a company’s reputation to be destroyed overnight
formed strategic alliances with established service providers such
with no clue as to who did it.” The upshot was a new US law called the
as Rule Financial and Perfect Day who deliver Dtex’s specialised
Sarbanes-Oxley Act which mandated companies to prove they had
services into the investment banking and IFA markets respectively.
systems in place that tracked and protected their data. Demand for
Data problems in other industries are raising awareness too. The
Dtex mushroomed, particularly as European countries started to
brouhaha between the Ferrari and McLaren F1 teams, the MOD's
introduce similar laws.
rash of laptop losses and thefts and the government's much
“Finally, people started to listen to what we had been saying all along,”
publicised loss of data disks have all focused the minds of potential
Mohan says. “Back in the days of paper, people used to have to sign
clients on the need for technology that can not only protect their
sensitive files in and out of locked filing cabinets which were kept in
data but, just as importantly, demonstrate to the customers they
locked rooms so you always knew where they were. To access a file,
work with that they have a safe pair of hands.
you had to have a key to the building, a key to the room and a key to
The Hannigan Report on Data Handling in Government, published in
the cabinet! Computers and networks have made security a lot more
June 2008, is intended to tighten internal controls and also obliges
complicated, but not impossible, which is how we are able to help. It is
anyone doing business with government to demonstrate proper data
important to stress that not all of this activity is malicious. The vast
security. Cue more clients for Dtex.
amount of internal risk is created accidentally, because staff don’t
always understand the risks associated with handling company Although Dtex arrived in the UK relatively recently, it is wasting no
information. That is why we don’t just put systems in place; we also help time in moving into other markets. Mohan has now set up in
to educate staff about data security. If they don’t understand it, you Portugal and Spain and is looking for opportunities in France and
can’t expect them to get it right.” Germany too. His model, as it was in Malaysia and in the UK, is to
work with local business angels whose close involvement, and
Increasing requirements for financial services companies to
personal contacts, helps open doors.
demonstrate compliance with the FSA Handbook and the European
Data Protection Act are simply adding to the demand for Dtex. The “We have been very successful and intend to be even more so,”
penalty for failure or for careless handling of data is becoming Mohan says. “But I want to make it clear that our focus is on protecting
increasingly onerous. Last year, for instance, Nationwide was fined data, not snooping on staff or becoming some kind of digital Big
£980k for lapses in information security when a laptop containing Brother. When a company loses data as a result of inadequate
1.4m customer records went missing. controls, everyone loses, the staff included. We exist to help our
customers maintain their reputation and mitigate risk through simple
“The FSA is really cracking down at the moment, issuing fines to
but effective management. The result of this is a tremendous
companies who cannot demonstrate adequate internal controls,”
competitive advantage for all concerned.”
Mohan says. “The damage to a company’s reputation alone can be
tremendous, given the FSA publishes the details of those it catches.” Source: Dtex
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