FrontBridge Technologies Inc., Proofpoint Inc. and MailFrontier Inc. are augmenting their respective spam-filtering offerings to address enterprises broader e-mail content security needs.
FrontBridge this week will announce its namesake Secure Email managed service, which adds encryption and authentication to e-mail, using identity-based encryption technology developed by Voltage Security Inc. Users of the service download client software—essentially an add-on to e-mail clients such as Microsoft Corp.s Outlook and IBMs Lotus Notes—that adds a Send Secure button that they can click to encrypt e-mail. The service authenticates the user and stores for each registered user a private key that allows the user to read encrypted e-mail.
FrontBridge manages the private keys so users can access them remotely. Public-key directories are not required, according to FrontBridge officials in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Company officials said the Secure Email service was targeted particularly at such tightly regulated industries as finance, pharmaceuticals and health care. FrontBridge plans to extend the service as early as the first quarter of next year so that it can be built directly into customers e-mail gateways, eliminating the need for a client download, officials said.
Pricing for Secure Email starts at $8 per user per month.
Matt Cain, an analyst at Meta Group Inc., in Stamford, Conn., said encryption is another way to improve mail "hygiene," especially for companies that have to meet HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy requirements.
"Most companies havent deployed encrypted e-mail yet, but just about everyone we talk to sees the need for it," Cain said. The most pressing need is in tightly regulated industries such as the ones FrontBridge is targeting, Cain said, but he added that other companies also may find value in encrypting e-mail.
"Its the paradox of e-mail," he said. "The value of e-mail to organizations is accelerating, but the threats to e-mail from outside the organization have never been greater."
Proofpoint, of Cupertino, Calif., last week unveiled Version 2.5 of its Protection Server e-mail protection software with support for recipient verification, designed to thwart directory harvest attacks. Other enhancements in Version 2.5 deliver improved administrative control and activity reporting.
Proofpoint also introduced the P1000 spam- and virus-screening appliance, which can process more than 4 million messages a day and provides nearly 300GB of disk capacity for quarantine.
Similarly, MailFrontier last week announced the MailFrontier Appliance, the Palo Alto, Calif., companys first extension of its spam- and virus-blocking technology into appliances. Company officials said the appliance was optimized for more than 1,000 users. The company also released a small-business version of its flagship MailFrontier Gateway Server product.