Software Monetization Featured Article
Maritime Simulator VSTEP Fights Off Pirates with SafeNet's Sentinel Hardware KeysDecember 07, 2012
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
The Dutch have long been a seafaring people, possessing deep nautical knowledge. They also have a reputation for being practical.
VSTEP combines these two characteristics to create training and simulation software that helps organizations impart maritime knowledge in a practical, cost-effective way, counting the likes of the Royal Dutch Navy, port of Rotterdam, Falck/Nutec, Shell, DSM (News - Alert) among its clients.
Based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the company uses the interactive 3D technology employed in the computer gaming industry not only for developing its own games, but for its line of training products. Chief among them is Ship Simulator Professional, which has sold more than 600,000 copies and is available in seven languages and 20 countries.
According to a recent SafeNet case study, upon the second major release of Ship Simulator Professional v. 2.0,3D, VSTEP realized they needed stronger protection. “We required better protection than our homegrown solution,” explained Frank Dolmans, chief marketing officer for VSTEP. “To maximize the protection of our software revenue, we sought a third party, high security solution.”
SafeNet’s (News - Alert) Sentinel Hardware Keys proved to be the answer. Communications between the SafeNet key and the application are secured through the use of a public key cryptography and 128-bit AES encryption. Record and playback and driver emulation are effectively stopped with the solution.
Sentinel helps VSTEP with flexibility, too. Customers can purchase additional modules for the Ship Simulator Professional, and the Sentinel Key can be updated remotely to provide access to newly purchased features.
“The ability to offer secure remote updates is a very nice feature of Sentinel Hardware Keys,” noted Dolmans. This allows VSTEP to “update existing hardware keys as a customer purchases additional modules, without the need to ship a new key. We can also enable customers to try new modules before purchasing, which is helpful in our sales efforts.”
VSTEP currently offers downloadable, time-limited trials of its simulators. When customers purchase the product at the end of a trial, they are shipped the Sentinel Key that gives ongoing access.
The hardware-based solution offered by SafeNet impressed VSTEP, and so did its customer service and ease of integration.
“We were facing deadlines and needed fast responses. Speed of delivery was essential. SafeNet was very quick to respond with all the relevant information we required. The product, support and follow up made SafeNet the best solution available,” said Dolmans.
Edited by Peter Bernstein
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