RSA updates Keon with Exchange, Outlook features

Looking to ease the use of its Keon digital certificate product with e-mail applications such as Microsoft's Exchange and Outlook, RSA Security Wednesday announced a new version of Keon Certificate Authority.

Keon is designed to allow users to encrypt and digitally sign their e-mail to ensure that only the intended recipient will be able to read the mail, according to Keon, based in Bedford, Massachusetts. The new version will smooth integration with Microsoft mail applications and will not require the deployment of any client software beyond the Outlook mail client, said Kevin LeBlanc, product marketing manager for RSA Keon. User configuration can also be done automatically in the new version, he said, meaning that users will not have to manage preferences and certificates on their own.

Administrators will be able to create policies that automatically assign users certificates for signing and encrypting e-mail, thus cutting down on the amount of user intervention required to protect documents, he said. Buttons can also be installed on user's Outlook toolbars to allow for one-click encryption, he added.

The updated Keon will also allow users to publish their certificates to Microsoft's Exchange Server Global Address List to let encrypted e-mail to be passed among users who have had no previous interaction, LeBlanc said. Normally, such encryption requires that each side of the communication have a key to decode the message.

Tighter integration of RSA security applications with existing enterprise software is something RSA's customers have been asking the company for, he said. Companies have wanted to use e-mail for sensitive transactions, but have resisted due to security concerns, concerns that the new Keon should eliminate, he said.

The software works with e-mail clients including Outlook 1998 and 2000 and servers Exchange Server 5.5 and Directory and Exchange 2000 and Active Directory, he said.

The software is available immediately. The new version is included, at no additional charge, with Keon, LeBlanc said. Customers under current maintenance contracts will receive the new features for free, he added.

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