Hushmail Business Makes E-Mail Encryption Easy

Hush Communications Canada's Hushmail Business is a hosted e-mail encryption service that carries no client-side installation requirements. An Outlook plug-in that works with Exchange automatically handles the authentication and exchange encryption keys.

E-mail encryption has been around almost as long as e-mail itself, but due to quirky installation and support requirements, the security technology hasn't been very popular with many enterprises. Fortunately, the current crop of e-mail encryption products and services includes options that are easy to deploy and use and that don't require a great deal of IT support to operate.

One such easy-to-deploy option is Hushmail Business, an entirely hosted solution from longtime e-mail encryption player Hush Communications Canada. As a hosted service, the Hush offering carries no client-side installation requirements. However, the company does offer an Outlook plug-in that works with Exchange and automatically handles the authentication and exchange encryption keys-something that used to be a major support headache. On the server end, administrators need only configure a company e-mail domain with Hush to handle the encrypted e-mail traffic.

This hosted arrangement can be a plus or a minus, depending on your organization's particular circumstances and bias toward maintaining servers on premises. Hush is working on an update, slated for availability later in 2010, that would allow companies to choose whether to support encrypted communications for selected users rather than the entire domain.

The basic business account starts at $24 a year per user for 50MB of storage; a premium service offering more storage (currently 250MB, soon to be expanded to 10GB) costs $48 a year per user. In addition, Hush offers a free personal version of the service that has most of the features found in the business product but tops out at 2MB of storage.

Other encryption products, such as those from PGP and Voltage Security, cost several times Hush's basic price, so Hush's main advantages are cost and speed of implementation, given that there is nothing that needs to be installed. The service will interoperate with PGP e-mail, once the appropriate keys are exchanged. The administrative features are spare, but that makes it easier for corporations looking to get started quickly with encryption.

Using Hushmail

You have two options for your e-mail client: Use Hush's Web client or download an Outlook plug-in. Whichever method you use, all your e-mail can be archived for an extra $10 a month per domain-something new to the current version.