Sun Seeks Secure Collaboration

The company hunkers down on securing the e-mail, instant messaging and calendaring tools in its collaboration suite.
Posted February 14, 2005
By

Clint Boulton


Sun Microsystems introduced improvements to safeguard its Java System Communications software suite, trumpeting the company's participation in the RSA Conference this week.

The communications package is Sun's version of an enterprise collaboration package, providing e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging. The suite already comes with several security utilities, including authentication, authorization, session encryption and content filtering.

But officials for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun said in a statement the suite's applications feature better user privacy perks to shore up network defenses and help businesses stay atop compliance rules.

For example, the suite now supports the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) security protocol in its Communications Express Web client, allowing users to sign and encrypt messages.

The delegated administrator tool now uses the Java System Access Manager for policy-based management, which dictates what user has access to what applications or networks. This makes it possible for IT departments to decide what users can or can't do on hosted domains.

Compliance and record retention policies are the main reason protecting e-mail and other files is top of mind for many businesses. The new rules, such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA, require e-mail files be saved and unaltered for specific periods of time.

Security and compliance are taking center stage at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, where IBM and Microsoft will join Sun and a slew of vendors making security-oriented announcements.

To meet compliance standards, Sun's e-mail server now supports the NFS protocol, created by Sun to provide access to shared files from disparate computers. This means the software can now integrate with products like Network Appliance's SnapLock software, allowing users to store and secure e-mail without the threat of deletion or alteration.

Lastly, Sun has enlisted the help of Symantec to provide a software bundle that combines high-performance message processing with protection. The software enables Sun's e-mail server to work with Symantec's AntiVirus Scan Engine, so that e-mails that contain viruses can be detected and removed from the messaging system before infiltrating users' inboxes.

The upgraded Java System Communications suite is just one piece of a security puzzle Sun has been trying to solve since the start of 2005, underscoring the notion that security is the top priority among both e-mail administrators and CIOs concerned about compliance.

Last month, the company unveiled the Sun Compliance and Content Management Solution to help companies better comply with rules, as well as the Identity Auditor, a software tool that lets customers create an identity trail.






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