26 Apr PKWare launches new enterprise product line, adds new features to PKZip
Brown Deer, Wis. – Information technology professionals often face the challenge of delivering cost-effective and secure data management solutions designed to maximize both storage and bandwidth efficiency, while providing seamless, easy-to-use solutions for their users. PKWare has announced SecureZip, a new family of products designed for enterprise customers that seek encryption and authentication in a cross-platform environment. The company also introduced a new PKZip version for Windows that includes administrative controls that enable IT administrators to create and extend data compression policies for their end users.
PKWare, founded in 1986, developed the ZIP file format used in data compression and it continues to build and improve products built on that standard. The company has extended its product line with the introduction SecureZip. The new products will provide customers with the ability to protect confidential information, while at the same time complying with new government regulations, such as HIPPA and Sarbanes-Oxley.
According to Tim Kennedy, president and chief operating officer of PKWare, “Widespread deployment of data security solutions has been fraught with problems – not from technology limitations but rather from usability and deployment concerns. “
The company has added features to the ZIP compression standard, based on BSAFE software from RSA Security, which delivers strong encryption and authentication. According to the company, the applications are easy to use and will be interoperable with PCs and mainframes, across diverse, security environments. Steve Crawford, PKWare’s chief marketing officer said the first product will be available for Windows and future releases, due later this year, will cover all major computing platforms including UNIX, Linux, iSeries midrange and zSeries mainframe systems.
“It is a simple solution to a complex problem,” said Chris Christiansen vice president, security products and infrastructure software for the market research firm IDC. “The new product provides a way for quick and easy transfer as well as file compression of e-mail and files. This will help with compliance issues pertaining to issues such as patient and financial information.”
SecureZip delivers encryption and digital signatures along with ZIP file compression by adding the flexibility to use either passwords or digital certificates that will allow SecureZip to bridge both PKI and non-PKI environments. The product includes new administrative features that enable transparent enforcement of storage, transmission and file security policies. For organizations that utilize public key certificates, the new product features directory integration via LDAP to ease implementation of enterprise-wide encryption. Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes users can benefit from a new interface and integrated toolbar for these mail clients, making it easier for users to compress and encrypt files and e-mail.
Florida Hospital, based in Orlando, ranked as the largest private hospital in America with over 1,800 beds, has deployed SecureZip for increased data security.
“We have several methods of communicating confidential information both to people we know and communicate with regularly and those with whom we have ad hoc communication. We were interested in strong encryption from a company with name recognition,” said Todd Frantz, MIS manager of research and development for Florida Hospital. “ We see SecureZip as even more useful than how we currently use it. We were able to cost justify the purchase based on our need for secure communication, and in the future we may use the additional features. That will be a bonus.”
In addition to SecureZip designed for enterprise customers, PKWare also released a new version of its flagship product PKZip for Windows. The latest version contains many of the features found in SecureZip, including the ability for administrators to set rules for their users for when a file should be compressed. This enables the reduction of bandwidth and storage on servers and PCs. The product has the same easy-to-use toolbar and integration with Outlook and Notes. Security of files can be enabled using password-based strong encryption, with support for AES and 3DES.
These two new releases represent a repositioning and re-branding for PKWare. The PKZip products represent the companies enhanced data compression products with security features for the end users. The SecureZip product line is targeted at enterprise security solutions buyers.
“Our original intent was to keep the security products in the PKZip family. We discovered that our brand was so strong and its association with data compression was making it difficult for our customers to realize the full potential of our security products,” Crawford said. “SecureZip is a now a brand name that is a better descriptor of our new technology.”
If a user does not currently own a ZIP product, PKWare distributes a free ZIP reader, a tool that can be used by any user who receives a Zip encrypted and/or compressed file. Users can open a protected file by use of a password or digital certificate. PKWare has distributed over 150 million downloads of its product since the company’s inception.