PGP Launches Encryption Product for i OS
May 5, 2009 Alex Woodie
PGP last week announced PGP Command Line for IBM Power Systems, a newly named version of its encryption software designed specifically for IBM i (i5/OS) environments. The product replaces a previous product that ran in the System i server’s Linux environment.
PGP, which stands for Pretty Good Privacy, is an open-source encryption program developed by Phil Zimmermann in San Francisco in the early 1990s. The software was originally used for securing e-mail messages, but has since found its way into many aspects of IT besides e-mail. The widespread adoption of PGP beyond the United States led the Federal Government to investigate Zimmermann, who they suspected of violating the Arms Export Control Act, but it eventually dropped the case against him, and PGP has gone on to flourish as an open source standard.
PGP, which is based in Menlo Park, California, says its PGP Command Line product is ideally suited to batch-processing environments, which are common on AS/400s and mainframes. The product is also a very good fit for situations where data needs to be protected not only while it’s in transit, but also when it’s sitting in storage at its destination, potentially vulnerable to snoopers and hackers. Secure Internet protocols, such as SSH (Secure Shell) or FTP over SSL (FTP/S), are good at securing data while it is in transit, but do not provide any protection once the data is sitting in storage, PGP says.
In particular, PGP says its command line product is ideally suited to the extremely high-volumes of confidential data that System i servers are known to handle, including credit card numbers, bank account information, employee payroll and benefit forms, health care information, and patient data.
“PGP Command Line is ideal for organizations with high volumes of sensitive data that they are moving between data centers,” says Steven Schoenfeld, vice president of products and strategy at PGP. “By adding support for IBM i, we are enabling enterprises using IBM Power Systems to encrypt data at the source, thereby strengthening their data security infrastructure.”
PGP Command Line’s integration with System i’s CL (Control Language) environment also assists with integrating the product into production batch scheduling on the Power Systems server (formerly eServer i5 and AS/400).
PGP Command Line is built on the PGP SDK cryptographic engine, which was developed by many of the individuals behind the original PGP technology that has since become the OpenPGP standard. PGP also points out that its SDK is FIPS 140-2 validated, which means it satisfies the stringent security standards of the federal government (and meets the security standards of most private corporations, too).
PGP previously offered a product called PGP Command Line for Mid-Range and Mainframe Systems that provided PGP encryption for OS/400 and z/OS servers. However, the product only ran in Linux environments on the AS/400 server. With the new product, PGP is offering native support for the i OS operating system. It also changed the product’s name. It also sells versions of the PGP Command Line product that works with Unix and Windows command line environments.
PGP Command Line supports a variety of key formats and encryption mechanisms, including: two public keys (OpenPGP and X.509 v3); six symmetric keys (AES, CAST5, TripleDES, IDEA, Twofish, and Blowfish); three types of Hashes (SHA), MD5, and RIPEMD-160) and three public key algorithms (Diffie-Hellman, DSA, and RSA). It also supports the Zip, BZip2, and ZLib compression algorithms.
PGP Command Line for Power Systems runs on OS/400 V5R2 through IBM i 6.1 (formerly i5/OS V6R1), as well as Linux Pricing starts at $7,495. For more information visit www.pgp.com.