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7/1/2009
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Rollout: Egress Secure File Transfer

The Egress service uses SaaS to make securely sending files a snap.

Transferring sensitive data from user to user or company to company can be difficult when there's no secure data-transfer solution in place. Even more difficult is restricting who can open the files once they've left your control. Data protection packages can be very expensive and don't always provide the security required, which is why many small and midsize businesses haven't implemented a way to secure data and control who accesses it.

Egress Software Technologies' flagship product, Switch, provides a lightweight approach to these problems at price small and midsize businesses can afford. With Switch, you can create secure packages containing files that can be transferred to online or offline recipients.

No doubt this sounds like many other secure data-exchange products on the market, such as PGP, Pkware, and Bcrypt, but Switch has a twist. It controls access to the secure packages through Egress' servers, essentially making it a software-as-a-service offering.

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Installation is straightforward. First, you must create an account, which is done through the downloaded client. Using your account's e-mail address, the service grants access rights and associates packages. Next, you can choose to install the browser plug-in or the full Switch client. The browser plug-in lets users open secure packages, but they can't create them; the full client allows creation and opening of secure packages.

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Switch runs on Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003, and customers' machines must have Microsoft .Net 2.0 Service Pack 1 installed. Although this Windows-only approach isn't unique to Egress' service, it does mean non-Windows businesses will have to seek an alternate route to secure exchanges.

In tests, after we downloaded the full client and entered our account information, we were up and running. The entire process took only a few minutes and was pretty easy. However, because there is no Mac or Linux client, we had to run Switch on a virtual machine running Windows.

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