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PGP Updated to be a Good Citizen

PGP has updated a number of components in its flagship PGP Encryption Platform to improve performance, functionality and make it less obtrusive to the user.

Three of the six tools have received a significant overhaul while the other three received only minor performance tweaks, according to John Dasher, director of product management for PGP. The release is officially dubbed PGP Encryption Platform 9.8-2.8.

Overall, PGP's efforts behind this release were to make its security product play better with your system, said Dasher. "One of the things we're constantly concerned about is the deployment and maintenance experience of the product line," he told InternetNews.com. "We recognize one of the larger concerns is how do you live with it."

The three updated tools are PGP Whole Disk Encryption, PGP NetShare and PGP Desktop Email. PGP Whole Disk Encryption is behaving itself by offering better support for updates to a computer without requiring the computer's user to be there or share their passwords. Administrators can now access a computer to perform maintenance and upgrades without needing the user's password for access.

While Whole Disk Encryption does end-to-end protection of the drive, PGP NetShare does individual file protection. This new version allows for files to be encrypted when they are dropped in a designated folder, and they stay that way until removed.

The file can be opened, edited and updated and remain encrypted and protected so long as it stays in that folder and the encryption is totally invisible to the end user, said Dasher. This makes it easier to protect folders and decide who can access what.

PGP's PDF Messenger is a secure PDF file delivery mechanism that also acts like a certified mail delivery system, since the encrypted PDF file comes with a separate HTML file as well. When it's opened, the sender is informed that the e-mail has been received. Once securely connected, the HTML file also provides the pass phrase to open the encrypted PDF file.

Changes in the other applications in PGP Encryption Platform include adding tie-ins to the other three applications for ease of deployment to reduce the number of screens to get set up. It also supports other strong authentication mechanisms, such as Aladdin, Gemalto and RSA Security, and allows administrators to enforce location-based data protection via PGP NetShare.

The new offering adds support via PGP Command Line for encrypting and digitally signing OpenPGP and S/Mime-formatted e-mail messages for additional flexibility in processing business transactions.

PGP Encryption Platform 9.8-2.8 is available now. Pricing is available from PGP.