Software start-up targets security of computer files

Keneisys Corp, a privately-held software development company, moved into a 2,615- square-foot space at the Riggins Court light industrial park in

south Reno.

The company has developed a software program for computer security that can encapsulate individual files as coded packages packages that can only be opened by those with the key.

Founder Kerry Nemovicher began work on the concept in 2001and has been developing the software and structuring the company until it's ready to market the product.

Now, with a team of 15, Keneisys Corp looks to create a shift in the long-standing way that computer users approach security issues.Within three years, Nemovicher plans to employ 60 to 70 at the Reno location.

Why locate to Reno? "Culture," says Nemovicher."There is in this town a young vibrancy, a sense of going places." Plus, he likes the friendliness of people far more than in his former location in New Jersey.

The Keneisys software,Virtual Strong Box, is a proprietary technology for authenticating users.

It's a secure digital identity.

Just as people currently compress a file into a zip file or encapsulate it as a PDF,Virtual Strong Box encrypts the file as a .vsb, which can only be opened with a key code.

"We're not replacing firewalls," says Nemovicher."We're giving true ownership back to the owners of the information."

The paradigm shift? "People think of building walls around the castle," he says.

"Security should be at the file level." Currently, computer system administrators have access to everything in a computer system, even personal e-mail.

The Virtual Strong Box software allows an owner to customize access to information.

The file owner can give ownership to others individuals.

The owner can specify not only who can see the file, but whether they can modify it.

The file includes a digital signature that records the identity of everyone who either reads or modifies the file.

For instance, a computer user might give financial auditors permission to read the audit trail (who modified the file and when), but not the contents of a file.

A file can be set to have a minimum number of owners, so that an employee can't hold company data hostage through a private encryption code.

If a corporation buys user identities for all of its employees, it can limit where files may be sent perhaps, for instance, only internally.

The software will be free via website download to individual users at

It will be priced at $150 for one-year subscription for commercial users with an annual renewal cost of about 20 percent of the sales price.

Sales will be handled through value added retailers and security consultants, says Nemovicher.

"Initially, we'll meet them one at a time," he says, and adds that on a recent trip to meet with security types in Detroit, the product generated a lot of industry buzz.

However, the software will not be available until late this year.

First, says Nemovicher, "I still need to create a support node to maintain a database of lookups." That means when the sender decides who will have access to the email, the process must be as easy as entering a name; the software will access a database of users to pull the correct key code of the receiver, who can then open it.

"We are a young company," says Nemovicher."The challenge will be causing a paradigm shift, getting people to look at doing things in a new way."


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