AirZip Locks Down Attachments

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2002-12-02

E-mail would become more useful, and less dangerous, if attachments could be kept on a leash and if senders could control privileges such as viewing, printing, saving, copying or forwarding contents.

AirZip Document Secure, introduced last month at Comdex in Las Vegas by AirZip (, "offers remote control of access to information," as Marketing Director Doug Keiller described it when I met with him for the products first demonstration.

"Were wrapping the document in an encrypted envelope of persistent access control, which follows the document wherever it goes," Keiller said.

Any attempt to access protected content triggers a query to AirZips rights server, which either grants or denies permission. I tried several ways to get around the protections, but my efforts were blocked.

AirZip provides an audit trail that records all access attempts, showing what action was taken—or attempted—by which recipients. If the mail client doesnt have the AirZip plug-in installed, the document is unreadable unless the recipient can crack 256-bit AES encryption. I dont envision any need that exceeds that level of protection.

I can imagine IT buyers desiring more heterogeneous support than AirZip offers: Windows 2000 on the server, Windows 98 or later on the client, and .Net Framework all around, plus Outlook 2000 or Lotus Notes R5 or later, are the initial entry points.

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