The Register

  15 September 2003 
  Updated: 15:06 GMT 

PGP makes email encryption easier 
By John Leyden 
Posted: 15/09/2003 at 14:06 GMT 

PGP Corporation today introduced simpler email encryption in which the burden of 
securing email messages is shifted from the client to the network. 

PGP Universal software suite, launched today, represents a new architecture for the 
company. The complexity of email encryption systems has long been a factor holding 
back deployment. Some vendors have responded to by repackaging encrypted email as a 
Web-based service. 

PGP Corp has taken a slightly different tack, adapting its software so that it can be 
loaded onto x86 servers to create an email encryption appliance. These proxy servers 
live between an email server and client machine or in an enterprise's DMZ; they are 
responsible for generating encryption keys and managing the encryption and digital 
signing of email, according to enterprise security policies. The appliances can be 
clustered for higher availability. 

Transmissions between a client machine and PGP can themselves be encrypted using SSL. 

The technology was launched at a Gartner security conference in London this morning. 
Stephan Somogyi, director of products at PGP Corp, told delegates that PGP Universal 
radically simplifies the support and training requirements normally associated with 
deploying enterprise encryption products. 

"Desktop solution hit a wall when you hit deployment of 15 per cent within companies 
because of training and deployment issues," Somogyi told The Register . "With desktop 
solutions you also have a problem of people accidentally failiing to comply with 
security policies, for example by forgeting to digitally sign email, that's why we're 
moving to a network-based approach." 

But couldn't an enterprise set up a similar system using digital certificates and 
email sent using the TLS protocol, Somogyi was asked. Up to a point, he replied; such 
an approach would only work effectively for site to site email and sets up a 
computational overhead which PGP's architecture is better suited to manage. 

PGP Universal support POP3 and IMAP clients, as well as Lotus Notes systems. Exchange 
support is more problematic, but the PGP Corp intends to support Exchange 2003 support 
via OUtlook HTTPS. 

PGP Corp intends to add support for S/MIME encryption and X.509 certificates to PGP 
Universal later this year. And it aims, at some point, to support secure instant 
messaging and a greater range of mobile devices - PGP has already developed a client 
that works on a Handspring Treo. 

PGP Universal interoperates with AV and content filtering scanners, where messages are 
be checked before encryption and after decryption. Alex Doll, CFO at PGP Corporation 
said the company was in talks with one particular AV vendor, which he declined to name 
as yet, about a possible OEM deal. The company is also in talks with an ISP and 
managed service provider about setting up a premium service based on PGP's technology. 

Pricing for the PGP Universal, which the company says is suitable for companies 
ranging for a handful of employees to thousands, is based on the number of end users, 
gateway and supported domains. Costs are similar to AV pricing, according to Steve 
Abbott, VP of sales at PGP Corp.  

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: [EMAIL PROTECTED]>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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