Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Switch Release Available

It's been a busy few months here at Egress, we've been working on the new version of the Switch client which just became available for download, we're very excited about this latest version.
Here's a quick run down of the changes since our last major release:

User Interface Redesign


It's important when releasing a new software product to listen to every bit of user feedback you get, especially when it comes to user interface design. It doesn't matter how many guidelines and best practices you follow, its not until people start to use your product that you'll know if you got things right. The transition from Version 1.3 to 1.6 has seen us correct all the issues people reported as well as enhance the experience by introducing a the Microsoft Office Ribbon.

Here's how the Switch Package Creator used to look:


And here's the new 1.6 version:


Because the Switch user interface conceptually is a mashup of two applications: A Mail Client and File Packaging/Burning tool switching to the Ribbon concept made sense as many people already understand this user interface concept from using Microsoft Office products. It also allows us to add more features over time without cluttering the interface.

Configurable DEM's


I know this heading makes no sense, so let me explain what a DEM is. DEM stands for Data Exchange Mechanism and it's one of the key concepts within Switch. It's the system that makes Switch more than just an encryption tool. Using the DEM system you can deliver your secure package of files to the recipient using an ever increasing number of delivery protocols and media.
We've now made the DEM system even more powerful by including Internet protocols and by allowing for Local and Server side configuration of DEM's it's a solution that works for individual users as well as it does for an enterprise deployment to thousands of managed desktops.
Being able to configure the way you deliver your secure package means your workflow remains streamlined only seeing the options you use daily and not having to wade through options you never use.

Internet Delivery DEM's


Okay now you know what a DEM is, I can tell you about our support for Internet Delivery. In version 1.3 we supported the following delivery methods:
  • File Package
  • Encrypted CD/DVD/BD Discs
  • Email Attachments


But now we've added support for Internet protocols such as FTP and HTTP supporting both secure and standard variants.



This feature makes in incredibly simple to define a workflow for secure data exchange. You can setup a set of servers you want to publish to and have Switch handle the delivery in future as a one-click operation.
Here are the steps a user would take to secure files and publish them to an Internet server:

  • Drag the files to be secured into the Package Creator.
  • Assign the intended recipients (as you would an email).
  • Hit Create Package and choose a pre-defined Internet server (FTP, HTTP etc).


That's it! Switch will deliver the file to the internet server and send the recipient a notification when its ready to be downloaded. Because the files we're packaged into a Secure Switch package only the intended recipient will be able to open and view the contents.
Here at Egress we always use the phrase "It has to be so simple your Mother could use it", well we've done the tests and our Mum's have been able to deliver files to the internet using Switch.
Imagine if we'd asked them to use PGP and Filezilla FTP client to do the same. You can almost hear them now "Hey son, what's the difference between a passive and active FTP connection? And can I have your public key when you have a moment!"

Egress Switch 1.6 is available now. All new accounts include 5 free credits.

Press Release

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Security Container Lives On

I was inspired to write this after reading Data Security: One of Forrester's Top 15 IT Technologies to Watch by Andrew Jaquith over at Forrester. Its always a great feeling when you read something independent to your own work that gives you that massive feeling of justification. The space that Egress Switch occupies right now is a relatively new one, because it's so new we sometimes need to take time to explain to people why they should consider a solution like Switch.

In the past the team here at Egress worked in the traditional "End Point" security industry. The focus was always to ensure that data does not leave the workstation. And when the workstation is mobile, endpoint security ensures the data is kept secure. This is where End Point security has traditionally stopped. The data security problem takes a new form when information has to leave the workstation. We talked about this concept in our recent white paper.

In the white paper we talk about how we now live in the "Information Age" meaning information has to be allowed to flow. If you put an End Point solution in place to prevent the flow, your users will either revolt or simply find a way to circumvent your restrictions in order to get the job done.

Acknowledging the fact that data is flowing in and out of your organization on a daily basis is the first step to the right solution. To us, this implies data security at the file level that travels with the information instead of being tied to infrastructure.

Switch does this by helping the user in the information sharing work flow. Rather than getting in way, it takes a positive and proactive approach. If you give your users a tool that actually makes the process of sharing information easy they will thank you for it, you don't even need to tell them it's taking care of all the security behind the scenes!

So back to Andrew's blog post; he mentions container-centric security, and this is what Switch delivers. It's the idea that the user can take a collection of data, easily package it into a mobile container (we call it a package) and then send it beyond your perimeter whilst ensuring the contents are safe, that only intended recipient can access it, is fully auditable, and best of all you can revoke all access to the container at any time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Posting from Blogger

Its been a difficult choice trying to decide if we should implement our own blog engine or just host it on the web.

In the end we chose Blogger because of the great way it allows us to manage the blog posting on a professional platform and then push to our web server and let the blog live along side all the other content here at Egress.com.

Another advantage of the blogger platform over other blog engines has to be the Google element. I'm not talking SEO here, rather the wonderful openness Google brings. We wanted a blog to allow us to engage with our users and this will do just that. A Google account or other OpenID account is all that's needed to make a comment against anything you read here - and we think that's just great!

I'm happy the setup is mostly complete now - because that means we can start talking about the topic that gets us into the office every day: Secure Data Exchange.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Website Goes Live

Its been a busy couple of months here at Egress. We're getting ready to release version 1.6 of the Switch client which includes some fantastic new features, to go along with the new release we've switched on the new website which will do a much better job of explaining how the features within Switch work. The website refresh also includes the latest update to the Web interface for Switch (ESI).

The team spent a long time deliberating over the navigational structure of the new website and we think it makes much more sense now. You can find out about the Products, Solutions and Company without having to hunt around.

One of the new sections on the site is Solutions which we will use to publish articles on how Switch can be put to use solving problems. Because Switch is designed as enabling technology that integrates with your daily work flow we continue to hear great stories from people about how they've put it to use. We'll keep you posted on some of these through the solutions articles.

Please let us know what you think about the new website using the Contact Form or send us a Tweet

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Website in Beta

Welcome! The brand new website available for a closed beta audience today. The new site is like the evolution of the Switch client software in many ways: The first version worked well but had some usability issues.

Our development team are experienced many of them have been developers for over 15 years so we defiantly build a robust software product in version 1.0 but it has usability issues - some things just didn't make sense. After the initial release we got some fantastic feedback from our first customers and now at version 1.3 the product makes much more sense to a first time users.

The website has gone through a similar evolution, again based on getting visitor feedback about the experience they had. The major change to the website besides the new visual style is a tired approach to information delivery. Rather than go from very little content in the front page to text heavy pages of content we now have three stages of delivery:

  1. What is this about?
  2. I'm interested - Tell me a little bit more about this.
  3. I'm really interested - Tell me all there is to know!

These concepts are explained in more detail in this great article over at ReadWriteWeb Once you understand that a new visitor to your site does not understand you or your product using this laying of content delivery makes much more sense.

We hope those of you on the website beta find this new site much easier to use than the old one, and as ever feedback is always welcome.