Today's guest blogger is Arthur Fontaine, Program Director for Lotus Domino application development and Lotus Protector.  He's excited about Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption, which is now available.  He even trusts Lotus Protector enough to offer his email address up in this blog posting...

Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption launches today, April 27, and is the second member of the Lotus Protector security platform.  Like Protector for Mail Security, IBM's spam/content filter, this new offering solves a hard Internet security problem -- but does it in ways specifically suited to Notes/Domino e-mail customers.

In this case, Protector takes on the problem that SMTP mail is intrinsically insecure, according to the standard.  While technical solutions to add encryption over SMTP have existed for a long time, and pressure to be more secure only increases, encryption is an underdeployed in most organizations.  The extra steps and security warnings still tend to confuse end users, and competing standards and methods have historically made it hard to pick one that would work with other systems.  Gateway-only solutions address part of the problem, but rely on prebuilt policies and rule sets, which don't necessarily account for user intent.

Protector for Mail Encryption solves those problems, because it's integrated with the Notes/Domino platform.  In Notes, users can encrypt e-mail to any recipient using the existing interface.  The product uses Notes encryption when available, but whatever works best for the recipient to encrypt everything else.  That eliminates a lot of the training and support issues, because users don't need to know/care whether the recipient is internal or external, or what system they have for decrypting what they get.

The technology behind Protector for Mail Encryption is rock solid: it's a custom version of the encryption platform of PGP Corporation, a global leader in e-mail and content encryption.  However, because Protector for Mail Encryption was built to Lotus specifications, it maps to the needs and use patterns of Notes/Domino customers.

As pressures mount from new statutes and regulations, interest in encryption increases.  For example, the new Massachusetts data protection law penalizes any company that discloses a customer's personal information, even over e-mail.  Solving this challenge, especially for Lotus customers, is why we designed Protector for Mail Encryption.  (It also supports other major e-mail platforms, which can be a big benefit in mixed shops.)

More information is available at http://ibm.com/lotus/protector/mailencryption.  As always, fire questions away here, or e-mail me at afontaine@us.ibm.com.

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