PGP Expands Crypto Offerings

NAI division unveils latest in multiplatform encryption products.

As it attempts to shake off a years worth of internal issues and economic problems, security giant Network Associates Inc. is readying new products it claims will offer a simple, single security scheme to serve a variety of enterprise platforms.

NAIs PGP Security division will unveil several new and updated products, including a new version of PGPwireless; a distributed version of CyberCop Scanner; and Global Enterprise Management System 2.0, a centralized management console capable of controlling hundreds of distributed firewalls, virtual private networks and security appliances.

The new PGP products will be rolled out at this weeks NetWorld+ Interop show in Atlanta.

PGPwireless will be the first product to encrypt data on devices running Microsoft Corp.s Windows CE handheld operating system. This release gives PGP a common data encryption method across the three main computing platforms: servers, desktops and PDAs (personal digital assistants), said officials in Santa Clara, Calif.

PGPwireless uses PGPs familiar RSA-based encryption to protect data while it is stored on the PDA and while it is being transmitted to a desktop PC during a synchronization operation. PGP is also working on a version of the product for Symbian Ltd.s Symbian OS platform.

PGPs lead in the CE market is likely to be short-lived, however. Wireless encryption vendor Ntru Cryptosystems Inc., of Burlington, Mass., is talking with several partners about developing a version of its compact encryption scheme for CE devices.

And PGPs encryption has earned a reputation for being slow and less than user-friendly on desktop PCs, which may hamper its adoption on PDAs.

But for now, PGP will stand alone. Users say that the ability to go to one vendor for all their encryption needs is an attractive proposition, especially at a time when vendors are dropping from sight almost weekly.

"Being able to get all of [the encryption products] from NAI is certainly nice," said Joseph Dalession, network administrator at Major League Soccer LLC, in New York. "Weve got an informal support policy for [employees] own PDAs, but having disk encryption would make things a lot more secure."

On the wired end of things, PGPs new CyberCop Scanner 2.0 uses a distributed architecture to scan machines for more than 850 known vulnerabilities. Tied together via a central node, the software agents can be installed on remote subnetworks and programmed to scan on command or on a predetermined schedule. The results of the scan are then saved in a central database for future reference.

CyberCop Scanner 2.0 also integrates PGPs ePolicy Orchestrator, which enables administrators to set and enforce companywide policies from the central console.

"The distributed architecture eliminates a lot of potential human error," said Chris OFerrell, director of the ethical hacking division at Predictive Systems Inc., in New York, and a CyberCop Scanner beta tester. "Efficiency is key, especially in security. Whats the alternative? Individual scanners and firewalls? Thats not scalable."

CyberCop Scanner 2.0 scans Web servers, file servers, routers and workstations.