Review: Cryptzone Secured eMail Enterprise v3.2

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Review: Cryptzone Secured eMail Enterprise v3.2

Cryptzone’s Secured eMail Enterprise v3.2 is a desktop client application that integrates into Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes to provide email encryption.

While the product does have a few enterprise-related features, a local client needs to be installed on every machine. A client also has to be installed locally on any recipient host wishing to read or reply to the secured emails.

Three primary components are needed to successfully deploy the solution: the enterprise server, the server administration tool, and local clients.

The server application simply initialises setup of the database and licenses using Microsoft SQL 2000 or 2005. The administrative tool has some useful features, such as importing users from Active Directory, but it’s mostly used to manage the configuration of the client component.

We did encounter one issue and had to reboot after the client software failed to integrate its “Send Secured” button with Outlook 2007, even when Outlook was closed during the install.

Also, licensing and registering users is a cumbersome and ambiguous process at first. We would have liked to see a much simpler and efficient mechanism for this task.

Encrypting a message relies on a shared secret generated at the host level, which combines to form a very strong encrypted messaging channel.

Some enterprises, however, may balk at having to manage clients and individual hosts, instead of the option of seamless and centralised encryption.

Also, shared secrets must be known between both parties. Although the solution works well between trusted enterprise domain users, external users have to be notified of the secret before they can decrypt the email.

Also, client software is needed for all external users to read encrypted messages.

While documentation is available in PDF formats and online, we found numerous grammatical errors that ultimately reduced the professional appeal of the solution.

Cryptzone offers 8/5 and 24/7 support via phone and email. The website contains a small support section that has a support form and FAQs, but we were unable to find a published phone number.

Pricing starts at US$134 for 1-49 users and is not a very good value given the emphasis mainly on email encryption.

For: Very strong encryption. Against: Cumbersome license management and higher than normal administrative overhead. Higher pricing than average. Verdict: An expensive product that delivers strong encryption, but is time-consuming to manage. Other security features available as extra products.

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