The Coming "Adobe Acrobat" of Encryption
L. Taylor - January 31st, 2000
Last week at RSA Conference 2000, Lexias, Inc. unleashed a desktop encryption product which someday could become the defacto desktop encryption application of choice if Lexias plays their cards right. Known as Lexiguard™ 1.0, this desktop PKI solution is easy to install, easy to use, and may be one of the hottest new security products of the 21st century.
The flexible user interface allows you to select your choice of five symmetric encryption algorithms, and four different key sizes starting at 40 bits up through 448 bits through a simple and easy to use click-through GUI. Whether you decide to encrypt your company's strategic five-year plan with DES, 3DES, RC2, RC4, or Blowfish, it works like butter. For you public keys, choose between algorithms RSA or Diffie-Helman, with a keysize of 512 up to 2048 bits.
All encrypted files are self-signing, and there is no need for a Certification Authority intermediary. It supports LDAP, groups, Netscape 4.x, and IE 4.0, and 5.0 and has a command line interface for those UNIX geeks who have come to loathe GUIs with point-and-click-only attitudes.
VPNs have proved to be difficult to implement, even for the most accomplished security and network engineers. You just don't launch a VPN overnight. Lexiguard uses a desktop or client based architecture, and does not require a server intermediary of any kind. You do not need to be a network engineer or security engineer to install or use Lexiguard. Lexias has taken care not to over-engineer their product with a lot of confusing features that prohibit best-practice use. An Internet novice can install Lexiguard, and start exchanging keys and encrypted data in the same hour.
Though Lexiguard is not a replacement for a Secure Remote Access solution, or a firewall, its easy to use end-to-end encryption capabilities keeps your data safe while in transit over public networks where it is most vulnerable. It runs on Windows95, Windows98, and Windows2000, as well as Solaris 2.6 and 2.7, AIX 4.3, and Red Hat Linux 2.2. For added security, you can store your private key on a floppy disk, or a PCMCIA RAMcard.
With its affordable pricing plan of $29.00 a desktop, even PGP freeware users will want to see what all the fuss is about. Lexias also offers enterprise pricing packages for licenses purchased in bulk.
If your organization is resource constrained and does not have the capital or infrastructure to invest in VPNs or private leased-lines, Lexiguard is a fast and easy solution.
If you are a startup, with limited capital, and have highly confidential business plans that you are exchanging with venture capitalists, but don't have a robust private infrastructure to protect your data, Lexiguard can help keep your data private and safe.
If you need to start sending encrypted data today, and don't have time to wait for your network engineers to select a VPN, procure it, and implement it, Lexiguard is a way to get your data safely to its destination without risk of misuse by wily hackers or competitors.
If the cost, deployment, and complexity of VPNs is keeping your CIO up at night, Lexiguard may be just what your company needs to solve its data privacy problems.
The most important enhancement that Lexias needs to add to their product moving forward is to embed an email interface into Lexiguard so that users can use a one-step process, instead of the two-steps that it currently takes to parse the encryption, and then read or deliver the email.
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