Townsend Adds Open PGP Encryption to MFT Software
October 25, 2011 Alex Woodie
Townsend Security‘s managed file transfer (MFT) software for IBM i now sports OpenPGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption capabilities, the company announced last week. Alliance FTP Manager version 5.3 gives customers the option of using the new open source PGP feature or the pre-existing enterprise-level PGP feature based on software licensed from PGP Corp. (now owned by Symantec). Better reporting and file-scan features round out this release.
Alliance FTP Manager is a well-established secure file transfer solution that has been providing MFT capabilities to IBM i shops for years–well before the term “MFT” became so popular. The software historically has provided secure file transfers via the full, FIPS-140-compliant PGP encryption algorithm, as well as FTPS (or Secure Sockets Layer over FTP). With the launch of Alliance FTP Manager version 5 in January 2010, it added support for Secure Shell (SSH) encryption (SFTP), which is commonly used with Unix and Linux servers and considered by some to be more secure than FTPS.
Now, with the launch of FTP Manager version 5.3, Townsend has added a second implementation of PGP encryption. The new encryption option is based on the OpenPGP standard maintained by the OpenPGP Alliance. Townsend says the new OpenPGP option is suitable for IBM i shops that want to implement encryption quickly and affordably.
However, Townsend says customers that need a more robust PGP encryption solution are better off with the commercial PGP solution, called PGP Command Line, which offers FIPS-140 certification. This implementation is a bit more expensive and takes longer to implement. But it also brings professional technical support by the original PGP development team at Symantec, which acquired PGP Corp. in April 2010 for $300 million.
Several administrative upgrades made it into the 5.3 build. The product’s admin GUI interface has been enhanced with new and easier ways to review file transfers. Townsend has also added more filters to the search function, and added the capability to view user requests for file transfer options, such as “last used date,” which make it easier to isolate the last time a file was used, the company says.
Customers utilizing the product’s SFTP API will benefit from the capability to use PGP encryption within a SFTP transfer. Townsend has also increased the maximum number of files received on an SFTP directory scan operation from 100 to 1,000.
The product’s support for the older implicit FTPS method has also been enhanced. Implicit FTPS differs from explicit FTPS, by requiring the entire session to be encrypted from the start, as opposed to turning encryption on and off within the same session, as with explicit FTPS. There is also a need to open additional ports with implicit FTPS. With version 5.3, Alliance FTP Manager now supports standard SSL FTP Protection Buffer Size (PBSZ) and Protection (PROT) commands, Townsend says.
Several new features have been added to the directory and library scan features, which enable FTP Manager to automatically transfer files when they appear in a directory or a library.
The directory scan will now allow multiple scans to run simultaneously without interference, the company says, while the library scan facility has been enhanced to allow more options if a file cannot be moved from a scan library to a backup library. Also, FTP Manager will now kick off an email if an unmonitored exception occurs during a library scan.
John Earl, president and CEO of Townsend Security, says the new software demonstrates his company’s commitment to customers and partners. “Our goal at Townsend Security is to provide the most cost-effective and easiest to use solutions that meet data privacy requirements. Alliance FTP Manager 5.30 certainly accomplishes that,” he states in a press release.
For more information, see www.townsendsecurity.com.