Tool Keeps E-Mail Away from Prying Eyes

Concern is mounting over the security of millions of e-mails now being sent within and between companies every day. A recent survey of large corporations by WarRoom Research Inc. (Annapolis, Md.) finds more than 13 percent of companies surveyed have encountered evidence of outside tampering of their e-mail.

As a result, interest in encryption and other security tools is growing. One new set of solutions on the market, from RPK InvisiMail (San Francisco), offers varying levels of e-mail encryption for multi-user environments with Lotus Notes and other STMP-compliant e-mail servers. The solution comes in three editions – Intro, Deluxe and Enterprise. The Enterprise Edition, targeted at large multi-user sites, is installed on a central Windows NT server – such as the IPCS attachment to an AS/400 – and offers protection of e-mail coming through the AS/400 or other servers on the network.

InvisiMail employs a proxy architecture which encrypts messages on-the-fly, after they arrive from clients. Encrypted messages are then sent out to the Internet, says Kevin Shannon, VP of sales for RPK InvisiMail. Many current encryption systems will store encrypted messages on the local client, he points out. InvisiMail "only encrypts the message as it’s being transmitted, not while it’s on your desk," he explains. "If you want to go in and change something, you’re still dealing with the actual text message."

InvisiMail can be configured to provide encryption security on both a corporatewide basis or on an individual-user basis, Shannon says. "It depends on which side of the firewall you want to put it on. You can have users with their own public keys at their desktops, or have a single corporate public key for everyone."

Since the product encrypts and decrypts the entire e-mail data stream – including attachments – using public keys at senders’ and receivers’ sites, there is no third-party certificate authority involved in the process, Shannon says.

The RPK InvisiMail Intro version is available as a free download from the InvisiMail Web site (www.invisimail.com). The Deluxe version retails for $29.95. Pricing for RPK InvisiMail Enterprise Edition, based on the number of seat licenses, starts at $100 per user.