- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Typical PGP/Symantec reliability and support.
- Weaknesses: Could be a bit easier to use and deploy. Can be pricey.
- Verdict: A superb product for current PGP shops and absolutely worth looking at for any mid- to large-sized organization.
PGP, the venerable, popular encryption system, now is part of Symantec. Organizations with the PGP Universal Server will simply need to add the Mail module.
PGP Universal Gateway Email is a policy-based application layer encryption tool implemented as a soft appliance with the option of transport layer encryption. Architecturally, the device has several implementation modes depending on the characteristics of the enterprise. It is extensible with multiple gateways around the enterprise. It supports several encryption algorithms. Virtually all email systems are supported.
No client-side software is required, but if the sender and receiver have PGP Desktop Encryption, encryption can be performed end-to-end. Using a PGP-supplied X.509 certificate at the email client, end-to-end encryption can be conducted without any client-side software. Messages may be delivered in four ways: plain text, Web Messenger, PDF Messenger and PGP Desktop. The recipient, at the administrator's option, can select the mode that is most convenient.
Installation starts by deploying the soft appliance on a dedicated physical or virtual server. The system has a learn mode that characterizes email users and domains, and issues keys so that users can send and receive email transparently. Administration is done through a web interface.
The price is based on the per-seat cost and includes the server. Support and the website are typical of Symantec and are extensive. Most of the popular smartphone and tablet products - except Android - are supported by the Universal Server. Documentation is solid.
Clearly, Symantec has expended a lot of effort to make this as easy and transparent as possible for users at both ends. However, with so many available options - a good thing - it is, necessarily, a bit complicated. For smaller organizations, this is a bit pricey at over $10,000 for the typical 100-user starting point. For larger organizations, of course, discounts start to apply.