Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We Won: Security Innovator of the Year 2011

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.
What a fantastic year its been for Egress, our team has grown in size, we’ve seen massive growth in the use of Switch and last week we won the Security Innovation of the Year 2011 Award.

We’re proud of the whole team here at Egress for the hard work they’ve put in over the last couple of years. For us to have been recognised for this prestigious award in the face of tough competition from some of the security industry’s biggest players is testament to our vision.

Our CEO was quoted after the award ceremony: "We’re Operating in a market defined by compliance yet driven by convenience, Egress products and services provide customers around the world with a unified security platform when sharing personal or sensitive data."

We think 2012 is going to be just as exciting for us, with lots of new product features planned we’re going to ensure we continue to bring innovation into the data security industry.



Friday, October 14, 2011

5 Things To Consider After The Blackberry Outage

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.
Its been a disastrous week for Blackberry. The outages that have occurred this week have left many business users frustrated by the lack of connectivity to corporate email. This couldn’t have come at worse time for RIM as they continue to loose market share to Android and iOS.

As many businesses start to move away from Blackberry driven by users demand for access to richer application ecosystems. Its time to consider how your business will achieve the same levels of security that the Blackberry infrastructure has delivered over the years.


1. Mobile Security Without RIM
One of the biggest selling points of Blackberry handsets has always been message security. You know your corporate email was being delivered securely to the handset and that at anytime you can decommission the handset if its lost or stolen. Android and iOS have been trying so hard to to gain market share that the levels of security offered for email on these platforms doesn’t come close to that of Blackberry.

2. The Heterogeneous Network
You’ll be hard pushed to find a corporate network anywhere in the world today that isn’t a mix of different platforms from different vendors. No one ever expected to see the proliferation of iPads into the corporate environment. Can you be sure that your messages are secure and yet remain accessible on a diverse set of devices.

3. Communication Beyond the Mobile Device
Consider the communications that occur beyond your perimeter, your business remains responsible for the information its sharing with 3rd parties. Do you think you’re taking sufficient steps to ensure these messages are delivered securely? Your next move in secure messaging should consider how messages are secured when they leave your network.

4. Will Blackberry Continue to Innovate?
I’m a big Blackberry fan, and it saddens me that RIM continues to fall behind when it comes to innovation in the smart phone market. If it was all about battery life and reliability then RIM wouldn’t have anything to worry about. That said end users demand applications and innovation and right now that's all happening over on iOS and Android. RIM plans to leverage the QNX platform in use on the Playbook for the next generation of handsets. But will the industry accept another mobile OS this late in the game? HP didn’t think so when it recently dropped WebOS.

5. Think Beyond Email
Its not all about Email, remember most mail boxes let you down once the message size gets close to 20MB. Optical media such as CD and DVD has started to disappear even quicker than the humble floppy disc did. Today its all about cloud storage and large file transfer services. But do you really want to manage two separate solutions, one for email and one for cloud storage?

What’s Your Thoughts?
I’d be interested to hear your views on Blackberry, has the outage effected your trust in RIM? Finally spare a thought for those engineers trying to get the RIM services back up and running. I think this recent Dilbert Strip summed up and what they must be going through.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Email Encryption

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.
The team here at Egress has been involved in Encryption for over a decade. During this time we've seen most forms of endpoint encryption become commodity within enterprise environments. Encrypted laptops and removable storage devices are the norm these days if your organization cares about its reputation and its customers.

The one place we've never seen great acceptance is with Beyond the Endpoint encryption, often casually referred to as Email Encryption but these days you have to consider large file transfer as Email starts to let you down after 20MB or so.

The there are a number of reasons that Beyond the Endpoint encryption has failed to gain traction within organizations, here are some of the reasons we've seen:



One Size?

One size does not fit all. Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) do not have the same requirements as Enterprise & Government when it comes to an encryption solution. Here are some factors typically considered by different organizations.

Small Medium Enterprise
  • Ad hoc software deployment to where its needed the most.
  • Email infrastructure (servers) maybe outsourced, hosted etc (no control over configuration).
  • Volume of use may not require an infrastructure level deployment.
Enterprise & Government
  • Software deployed across whole domain or per Organization Unit.
  • Email servers are fully controlled and maybe linked to archiving and compliance systems.
  • Large volumes of information passing through the email infrastructure.
With these factors in mind it is most likely that a small business will favour an endpoint deployment whereas an enterprise may find gateway based encryption best meets their needs. Take care when considering solutions from the major security vendors as solutions are often based on different technologies from various acquisitions and can offer a disjointed user experience.

Recipient Experience

A factor often overlooked when organizations evaluate products is the experience for the recipient of the encrypted message. While an organization may consider internal factors such as deployment, usability and performance . What if a solution performs well for your users but leaves the external recipients with a terrible experience?

You may choose to ignore this factor but your users will be the ones taking the heat when external recipients are unable able to access secure content. We've always held the belief that users will follow the path of least resistance. So if your solution does not allow them to get the job done they won't use it and if you enforce it they will circumvent it.

The ability to provide a means of access on all major platforms including mobile devices is essential, additionally supporting a zero-install web experience means your recipient has no reason to object to your desire to ensure information is delivered in a secure way.

Conclusion

In the same way that full disk and removable storage has become the norm rather than the exception, we believe that Beyond the Endpoint encryption can no longer be ignored.

There are ever increasing demands to meet regulatory compliance and companies face bigger fines than ever when data breaches occur. Factor in the rising threats of phishing and email hacking and it soon becomes apparent that having additional security in your Inbox is fast becoming a luxury you can't live without.

We've spent a lot of time thinking about the problems faced when your organization starts to send secure information outside the perimeter. Regardless of where the encryption takes place internally (Endpoint or Gateway) you can be sure the recipient will be able to access it.

To learn more about Egress Switch which can now be deployed as an Endpoint or Gateway solution, get in touch with us.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Switch 2.32 Released Today

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.

A fresh new release of Switch client for Windows is available today. Here's a run down of the new features available in 2.32:

  • Support for Switch Gateway Server Encryption - This allows your enterprise to configure encryption at the perimeter, we’re going to talk about this in more detail soon.
  • Switch Add-in for Outlook now support the 64-bit edition of Office.
  • Improvements to the Sign-out logic allowing you to preserve your user ID.
  • Manual Policy refresh option.

You can download the new release here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blackberry Client Updates

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.

I wanted to tell you about a couple of improvements to the Blackberry client, we’ve had two common support problems from Blackberry users and the update this week fixes both these.

Password Entry
Its hard to believe the Blackberry, one of oldest smart phones has such a terrible standard password entry control - it doesn't offer any help like showing last entered character so you have no idea if you got the password right. We've had lots of issues with people not being able to login and the only problem was a mis-entered password.

So we've added a "Toggle Password" option to our password entry screen, you can access this on the app menu. Once toggled you can enter the password in clear and be sure you got it right. It won't reveal the existing password for security reasons, so if you activate this you have to enter the whole password again.

Connection Mode
There are many different ways a Blackberry can make a connection to the Internet, as we've done more and more deployments we’ve seen a number of issues where the Blackberry policy might have restricted an application on the handset from making a connection to the Internet using say WiFi. To solve this problem you can now choose the connection mode that Switch will try to connect to the Internet. We always recommend using WiFi first if available as you’ll get better performance over WiFi when compared to 3G.

There were a couple of fixes for version 6.x of the Blackberry OS too. If your a Switch user and want to open Switch packages on your Blackberry you can download it now from http://m.egress.com

Friday, July 1, 2011

What is Switch Fusion?


I wanted to take some time to tell you about one of the cool new technologies we've been working on: Switch Fusion.

As companies started to deploy our product to the desktop we started to hear from teams involved in back-end projects. After seeing how easy the recipient experience has become for Switch users, it seems the next logical steps for many companies was to look at how they could start to automate the distribution of information securely.

As a result of our discussions with system integrators and development teams wishing to automate the production of secure messages we designed Switch Fusion.

Fusion is a set of Tools, Scripts and Developer Interfaces (API’s) which makes it possible to automate the production of secure Switch packages. Because we’ve made these interfaces available in different ways the level of integration can be as simple or as complex as required by the specific project.

One of the ways we’ve seen people using Fusion is to solve ad-hoc problems where the installation of security infrastructure or the involvement of external developers would have made a project prohibitively expensive.

If your out to quickly solve a problem it’s often the final part of the project: Ensuring Data Security that leads to a project not being viable. Fusion gives you the tools to secure the information at the point it needs to be and leverages the Egress Security Infrastructure to ensure the information stays secure until its been delivered to the recipient.

One of the great advantages to securing information as part of an automated process is that it reduces the chance of human error. If you rely upon the user alone to make a choice about how a particular message should be secured then you have the possibility of error. News of ICO fines for serious data breaches are rising so leaving things to chance isn't a good option.

The Fusion toolkit is available now for Windows, Linux and OSX, as well as a Web Service Interface. If you need more information on Fusion get in touch with us to discuss your project.

You can read more about Switch Fusion (PDF) here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Website Redesign

John Goodyear
Chief Technology Officer
Egress Software Technologies Ltd.

You may have noticed we've updated our website. We wanted to improve the site navigation to help our visitors find the information they need.


The new design also reflects the evolution of Egress Switch. No longer just a Windows Desktop application Switch can now be used in many different ways and with the introduction of Fusion its now possible to integrate our security into your workflow.

There will also be a user interface refresh coming to the web application side of Egress Switch very soon. We’ve been studying how first time users interact with our services as well as getting feedback from our existing customers.

We think you’ll be impressed with the improvements in usability.