RSA launches new Keon security software

RSA Security today announced new products and initiatives designed to help the company capitalize on the growing demand for software used by corporations to protect their data.

The announcements come less than a week before the RSA Data Security Conference is due to begin in San Jose, California. Compaq, Microsoft, and IBM are among a slew of big firms expected to highlight new security products and initiatives at the show.

RSA launched new software for desktop and notebook PCs designed to protect access to sensitive data stored locally and on networks. Called Keon Standalone Desktop, the software uses X.509 digital certificates that can be used with a variety of e-mail and Web browsing applications, including programs from Microsoft and Netscape Communications.

The software lets users protect local and network files by dragging them into folders, a feature designed to make the software easy to use. Users can send Keon-encrypted files to users who don't have the same security applications installed, and they'll still be able to read the documents, RSA said in a statement.

The software is derived from RSA's Keon Desktop product, with the difference that the standalone version doesn't have to be used in conjunction with a centralized security server. Keon Standalone Desktop works with most standards-based certificate servers including those from VeriSign and Netscape, RSA said.

Keon Standalone Desktop is available immediately from the company and its distributors. RSA refused to disclose pricing for this or any other product launched today, saying the price varies with order size.

RSA also announced version 5.5 of Keon Certificate Server, its digital certificate management software. The product includes a new OneStep feature designed to make it easier for administrators to issue new digital certificates to multiple users, the company said.

Keon Certificate Server is designed to be installed easily into existing networks and works with a range of PKI (public key infrastructure)-enabled applications, including: Web access using SSL(secure sockets layer); Virtual Private Networks using IPSec; and secure e-mail using S/MIME. The product is scheduled to be available within 90 days, RSA said.

Also today, RSA announced a new software development kit for building PKI-enabled applications. Called BSafe Cert-C, the kit provides in a single package all the certificate processing and cryptographic software needed to deploy secure applications for a variety of PKI vendor environments, including Keon and VeriSign OnSite, according to RSA.

RSA BSAFE Cert-C is available now for Windows NT and other Windows platforms. Releases for Solaris, HP-UX and Linux are due in March 2000.

RSA also said it has worked with Lotus Development to make sure RSA's products work with Lotus Notes and Domino R5, the IBM subsidiary's messaging and groupware products.

Finally, RSA said it is working with ValiCert to develop a process that will allow digital certificates to be validated and processed more quickly and accurately. The companies hope to advance the use an emerging security standard called Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) by establishing criteria and performing interoperability testing of third-party OSCP-enabled products.

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