Strengths: Simple-to-use email encryption.
Weaknesses: Only plug-ins available for Outlook. Some filters might still block the re-named executables.
Verdict: Could benefit from corporate policy integration.
CenturionMail from ITRed is not strictly an email content filter, but can encrypt email to shield it from prying eyes.
It comes ready to use, either on its own or as a plug-in with Microsoft Outlook (however, no plug-ins appear to be available for other email clients – such as Notes).
Installation was painless, so it should not be difficult for support personnel, or indeed the user, to install this product if they need to.
When firing up the application itself, the main console resembles a basic email client. The user types in the message they want to encrypt and can even attach a file that can also be encrypted.
When that is done, the user presses the send button, which immediately starts up the email client (in this example, we used Thunderbird – meaning that we were able to use our address book as normal).
When the user at the other end receives the email, it is in the form of a zip file that they open to display an executable which, when opened, asks for a password. So in many ways, the operation is just like a password-protected zip file.
You are able to change the file extension, but we were worried that some smarter email filters would see through the file extension change and block what is still essentially an executable zip file.
The other part to this is the plug-in for Outlook. This is a one-button operation with Outlook and probably slightly easier to use than the method previously described.
CenturionMail now offers 256-bit AES encryption, and a new password manager enables users to store and manage passwords securely, so they can pre-set passwords for individual recipients.
The application also allows users to securely delete files and folders, either during the encryption (which deletes the non-encrypted original files) or separately. While this could appeal to the individual user wanting more security with their emails, we felt there was so much more that could be done with the product development.
We would like to see a corporate edition that ties in closely with organizational security policies.