Virtru launches business email encryption service for Google Apps

The service, which allows for fine administrator control of messaging, is free to try through later this year

Will and John Ackerly, cofounders of Virtru

Will and John Ackerly, cofounders of Virtru

Email encryption startup Virtru has launched a version of its service for businesses using Google Apps, a market segment that the company thinks is showing increased interest in secure communications.

Google Apps has some 30 million users, which is growing as companies become more comfortable with software-as-a-service, said Virtru co-founder John Ackerly.

Virtru aims to make email encryption easier to set up and use. It uses a browser extension to encrypt content and attachments, which can be sent through mainstream email providers such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.

The service also allows for fine control over messages. The encryption key for a message can be revoked, cutting off access. Message forwarding can also be restricted by managing access to its decryption key. Messages can also be tagged with an expiration time.

Virtru encrypts content in the Trusted Data Format (TDF), which Ackerly's brother and Virtru cofounder Will developed while working for the U.S. National Security Agency.

The open-source format is akin to a secret ZIP file and is widely used in the U.S. intelligence community. Unlike other encryption program such as PGP, TDF also allows attachments to be encrypted.

Virtru is also HIPPA compliant, a mandatory standard for U.S. health care providers handling sensitive information.

Virtru for Business will be free to try until later in the year no matter how many users, Ackerly said. After that period ends, Ackerly expects pricing for the baseline product to be around US$2.50 per user per month, with volume discounts.

The company will also offer other paid-for modules, such as data leakage protection and a white-label option -- for additional fees, he said.

"The goal here -- in the classic disruptive sense -- is to be a lot cheaper and dead simple," Ackerly said.

Setting up Virtru involves adding Marketplace Apps to the Google Apps domain console and then downloading the Virtru application. From there, an administrator can then manage the access and forwarding rights of users.

Virtru, which runs its central service on Amazon Web Services, manages the encryption keys for messages. Ackerly expects by the end of the year to license a key management product that will allow businesses to handle that task themselves.

"There are certain companies, particularly overseas, that don't want a U.S. company to be having access to the keys," he said, such as in South America, Europe and Asia.

Those concerns stem from secret NSA documents leaked last year by former contractor Edward Snowden, which described the agency's vast surveillance operations and infiltration of U.S. technology companies.

To dispel worries about his brother Will's stint at the NSA, Virtru has made its source code available for inspection on Github.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applicationssecuritye-mailVirtrusoftwareencryption

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?