FrontBridge Fills Archiving Gaps


FrontBridge Technologies put its best foot forward with an acquisition and the launch of a new managed service, the company said Monday.

The Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based firm, which specializes in secure e-mail and messaging software used to protect business networks and corporate e-mail systems, said it has acquired Irvine, Calif.-based MessageRite for an undisclosed sum.

The company said the purchase will help it bolster its message archiving products for both e-mail and instant messaging applications.

"This acquisition, combined with the announcement today of our fully managed secure e-mail service, significantly changes the messaging market landscape, creating a clear technology leader in the managed service provider market," Steve Jillings, FrontBridge president and CEO, said in a statement. "MessageRite, with its comprehensive technologies for archiving and compliance, is the perfect addition to our technology roster, enabling us to offer end-to-end services for the entire messaging stream, from complete message filtering to archiving messages for compliance."

Compliance has been the longstanding mantra of FrontBridge, whose products help fulfill reporting requirements, such as SEC 17a-4, NASD 3010, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Message archiving is in high demand, as companies are required by law to store and access electronic communications.

MessageRite's technology intercepts all internal and external messages and stores a fully indexed copy of each one in a secure offsite message archive center. Through a secure interface, administrators and compliance officers can easily search and retrieve messages within their archives as needed.

IT research firm Enterprise Strategy Group estimates that organizations that must comply with internal or external regulations will retain approximately 500 petabytes of business records this year.

"A majority of these businesses must seriously consider whether they want to manage this process in-house or outsource it," said Brian Babineau, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "Storing this data is one task, and securing the vast amount of data is another."

FrontBridge said existing MessageRite customers and infrastructure would eventually be transitioned onto the FrontBridge SMART Network, a distributed data center.

In a separate statement, FrontBridge launched its first managed service for desktop-to-desktop encrypted e-mail. The company said it went with Voltage Security as its strategic technology partner.

"Encrypted desktop-to-desktop communication has not taken off because existing methods have proven cumbersome to use and very difficult to deploy and manage," FrontBridge's Jillings said in a statement. "Yet, government and corporate regulations require that privileged communications are encrypted.

"We're taking secure e-mail to the mainstream by making the encryption and decryption of messages as simple as clicking a button in a standard e-mail client without complicated passwords or PKI [public key infrastructure]. After surveying the market, we selected Voltage as the most appropriate solution for our requirements."

FrontBridge said it would market and sell its subscription e-mail service -- known as FrontBridge Secure E-mail -- as part of its family of message management tools, which include managed services for spam filtering, virus protection, message archiving, content policy enforcement and disaster recovery. Companies in the health care, financial, and legal industries use the platform.

The platform allows for the collection of day-to-day transactions, including transparent roaming and full support of mobile messaging devices, such as the Research In Motion's Blackberry. The company said its Secure E-Mail service does not require pre-enrollment of recipients to send secure ad hoc communication.

"We are seeing increasing demand for managed service offerings in the market," said Sathvik Krishnamurthy, president and CEO of Voltage. "Our partnership with FrontBridge enables enterprises to add a secure messaging service in a completely managed environment. Network administrators don't have to manage and maintain an additional system and get the added benefit of automatic network redundancy and failover with FrontBridge Secure E-mail."

The new service is also the first to leverage Voltage's Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) technology. IBE is a cryptography technology that the company said removes the hurdles associated with PKI . Instead of relying on traditional PKI, FrontBridge Secure E-mail lets users simply use the recipient's e-mail address to send and receive business communications.

FrontBridge said it will also offer its completely managed service to resellers like Anitian Enterprise Security.


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