PGP has been at the top of the market in email protection ever since it was first introduced as freeware in 1991. Since then it has matured, had several owners and now has its own home again. The results over the past two years have been excellent. PGP has kept the problem of encryption to about as transparent a process as we can imagine given that there needs to be at least some user intervention.
PGP Desktop Enterprise is a suite of encryption products in a single package. Among those is email encryption. When one buys the product, the license key activates the software for only those features purchased. Feature sets are easy to upgrade. Simply purchasing the new features — whole disk encryption, for example — causes a new key to be generated. Simply insert the new key in place of the old one and the product is upgraded. There is no need to reinstall. In fact, we attempted a reinstall over a previous installation of whole disk encryption and the product refused our efforts with no damage to the existing installation.
The product is simplicity itself to use. Once installation is complete, including a very simple key generation process, the product is ready to configure. This is done through policies that dictate the behavior of the encryption and digital signing to the granularity of an individual recipient if desired. Broader policies are equally simple to implement. For example, a policy that says “sign all email by default” signs transparently to the user, including caching the user’s key at start up.
Documentation is as one would expect from PGP, very good. There is a short but comprehensive quick start guide and additional documentation is available on the PGP website. There is a variety of support options for users of most types — from individuals to small businesses and larger entities. The support portal is quite complete.
Priced starting at $62 per user per year, PGP Desktop Enterprise Email is a good value. However, for true enterprise use it requires PGP Universal Server at an additional cost. PGP Universal Server allows full corporate management of the entire PGP encryption suite.