PGP security gets Linux and Win7 support, plus more encryption

After rolling out the first Linux edition of its desktop encryption security software last month -- together with new support for the latest versions of Windows and Mac -- PGP Corp. on Monday announced major server updates that will let PGP be managed alongside myriad other approaches to encryption.

Released on January 19, the new PGP Desktop 10.0 product brings new support for Windows 7, MacOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and two flavors of Linux: Ubuntu and Red Hat. The software also works on Windows Vista, XP, and 2000, earlier editions of Mac OS, and Windows Mobile and BlackBerry phones, said Karthik Krishnan, senior director of product management, in a briefing for Betanews.

Version 10 also adds greater ease of use and new capabilities not provided by the Bitlocker feature in Windows 7 and Vista, for instance, according to Krishnan. For example, if you lose your encryption password, you can now retrieve it by successfully answering Q&A challenges incorporated into the desktop software.

PGP 10 can be used either with or without two new server products -- PGP Universal Server 3 and PGP Key Management Server 3 -- slated for availability from PGP Corp. on March 3.

PGP Corp. bought the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) code base and name from Network Associates back in 2002. Initially written in 1991, PGP was available as freeware, and widely used on bulletin boards, prior to its productization.

Beyond adding support for PGP 10's new platforms and feature, the new Universal Server 3 adds the ability to manage encryption policies while users are offline.

In addition, for purposes of regulatory compliance, administrators can now give Encrypt and Sign buttons to business users who need to prove that they've digitally signed documents.

New in the Key Management Server is centralized support for PGP, along with other encryption technologies such as KMIP, OPAL, IEEE 1619.3, and PKCS 11 -- and security certificates for SSL, VPNs, and wireless networks, according to Brian Tokuyoshi, product marketing management.

The development of Key Management Server 3 comes hot on the heels of PGP Corp.'s acquisition of TC Trust Center -- a specialist in PKI (Public Key Infrastructure encryption -- and its parent company Chosen Security on February 2.

Krishnan acknowledged that PGP and PKI were once seen by many as competing encryption technologies. But, he added, PGP Corp. views the two as complementary, with PGP working under a peer-to-peer trust model and PKI supporting a "hierarchical, infrastructure-based model."

By and large, PGP's server software is geared to large enterprises rather than small to medium businesses, according to Krishnan. But smaller businesses can purchase full-scale cloud-based encryption services either through PGP Corp.'s partners or through TC Trust Center directly.

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