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New security for business email

PGP released a suite of security software designed to help companies enforce corporate email policies.

Expanding its business offerings, security pioneer Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) today released a suite of security software that adds features companies need to manage encryption in a corporate setting.

The PGP Business Security Suite includes a certificate server to issue and manage digital certificates--a kind of online ID card to verify the identity of a user--and management software for enforcing corporate email policies. The suite also includes a new version, 5.5, of PGP's basic 128-bit, strong encryption software for email and other documents.

"Even though we are still selling a lot of software to individuals, our goal since late last year has been to point the company toward providing business solutions," said Phil Dunkelberger, PGP's chief executive. "Customers wanted an ease-of-use product, something more cross-platform and plug and play with existing email systems."

PGP, long a brand name for email security on the Internet, has had a commercial product line that it acquired last year when it purchased ViaCrypt, which had sold commercial encryption software while PGP founder Phil Zimmermann was fighting the U.S. government in court over his encryption software.

The client software, PGP for Business Security, lets users encrypt email messages and files so only intended recipients can decrypt the contents. It works with several popular email packages, including Eudora, Microsoft Exchange, and (via a plug-in) soon with Netscape Communicator.

It also includes tools for security managers to set and enforce policies for generating cryptographic keys and for other security matters.

PGP Certificate Server lets organizations create a public key infrastructure by issuing and managing digital certificates. Built on an LDAP directory, the software includes configuration and policy templates that can be tailored to a company's specific needs. It also allows managers to control access, filtering, replication, and other features.

PGP Policy Management Agent for SMTP enforces corporate security policies for email. It ensures that incoming and outgoing messages follow corporate rules such as the ability to recover messages, digital signatures, or mandatory encryption of email and attachments.

It can function as a firewall for email, and policies can be targeted to specific IP addresses or domains. It works with standard SMTP mail servers and any version of PGP client software.

The software is available now from PGP's Web site or its sales force, with additional channels to be announced by year's end. Pricing for PGP Business Security starts at $119 per user, with an expected street price of $99. The PGP Certificate Server costs $1,495 with 100 client access licenses. The Policy Management Agent is $795 with 100 client access licenses.