Security

Virtru launches killer NSA-grade encryption for enterprise

Virtru wants to protect your business data in the cloud.

In order to do so, the Washington, DC-based startup, co-founded by former National Security Agency data transfer architect Will Ackerly and his brother John, has launched its enterprise crypto-based email service for Android users. The new service is built directly into your Google Apps Gmail interface.

The value proposition is obvious: Email encryption here is easy to implement — both sending and receiving — and your company’s system administrator now has a tool to effectively monitor control access to secure corporate data. As data thieves become more brazen, with corporate secrets more vulnerable, it gives users the ability to protect and thwart intrusions companywide.

Indeed, Virtru touts itself as the only security play that allows email users the ability to revoke emails after they’ve been sent and has a mechanism that prevents email forwarding. Virtru users can also set expiration dates for emails. Taken together, these features encapsulate the startup’s objective of eliminating load times and the friction inherent in encryption for individual users and enterprise.

“Our mission is to make secure email and digital privacy cost effective and convenient for everyone. Virtru for Business corporate users get the same power and ease-of-use that our consumer product offers, and administrators gain powerful new capabilities to secure their company’s most sensitive information,” Virtru’s chief John Ackerly said.

Virtru launched in 2012 and has raised a cool $10.2 million in venture funding, $6 million of that in mid-June in a round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The fact Virtru is now focusing on the corporate market makes more than enough sense as that’s where the money will be made. Previous to this, Virtru focused more on the individual users.

Virtru uses 256-bit AES with Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for end-to-end encryption, much the same that U.S. intelligence agencies utilize to protect virtual communication channels. Ackerly spent eight years at the NSA, where his prime task was safeguarding data transfers from remote sites, or the field.

Virtru’s encryption standard means while sending messages on your desktop or mobile device on Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook, recipients receive the message but the encryption key is kept separate.

According to Vitru:

Users and administrators can take back messages sent to anyone inside or outside the organization while also being able to trace and restrict where email and files are forwarded. Virtru for Business users can add expiration dates to emails and attachments without restricting an administrators ability to archive or recover messages. For regulated industries, Virtru-secured emails can be easily audited and monitored, while also supporting compliance with HIPAA, Dodd-Frank, and other consumer-protection laws.

“Virtru is eliminating the frustration, regret and self-censorship email users have long struggled with, helping to open up new channels of secure communications among employees, partners, and customers,” John Ackerly said.

More information:

Virtru is the first company to make email privacy accessible to everyone. With a single plug-in, Virtru empowers individuals and business to control who receives, reviews and retains their digital information -- wherever it travels, t... read more »

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3 comments
Bosco Beagle
Bosco Beagle

Why would anyone believe anything anyone has to say about encryption anymore?

Cotic Norris
Cotic Norris

"NSA grade" - in my view means  it has a loophole they know about.  Would not trust them one bit. 

Thomas Chenhall
Thomas Chenhall

Hi, my name is Thomas Anderson, and I am here to file a complaint about one Agent Smith. Actually, several. You see, he turned my living body into a computer peripheral, and he wastes thousands of watts of electricity no matter what prime number I pick. Please help.