Duo forges new creed for mobile data backup

Brief: Credant Technologies and Sprite Software have teamed up to help businesses securely back up data on handheld devices.

Credant Technologies Inc. has announced an alliance with Sprite Software Ltd. that will help businesses securely back up data on wireless devices.

Credant, a Dallas-based company, specializes in security and encryption for wireless devices. Sprite, based in Auckland, New Zealand, specializes in data backup services.

Sprite's products -- Backup, Backup Premium Edition and Sprite Clone -- periodically back up data and applications from handheld devices onto separate memory cards. Such a form of data replication can be particularly useful for handheld devices that are wiped clean when they run out of battery power, said Bob Heard, CEO of Credant.

The problem with Sprite's system, however, is security, said Ian Gordon, vice president of marketing for Credant. If someone were to get a hold of the memory stick, he could access all of the data that had been copied from the device, he said.

To address that concern, Credant is offering Sprite's products along with its Mobile Guardian security product. Credant Mobile Guardian requires a user to enter a username and password both to activate a handheld device and to access a memory card. The program also encrypts data on the memory card.

The product can be used with any device, as long as the user has the capability to log on with a username and password. However, the password is not linked to the corporate authentication system.

Such a system is important, Gordon said, because many mobile users do not connect to the corporate network regularly, often using a device a for days or weeks before business systems are updated.

The Credant Mobile Guardian costs $36 per user. The backup capability from Sprite is an additional $8 to $10 per user.

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