What effect does Symantec’s acquisition of PGP Corp have on Ipswitch customers?

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It’s been less than a day and I’ve already been asked twice about the effect of Symantec’s acqusition of PGP Corporation (announced today) will have on Ipswitch customers.

The technical answer is “none”.   The OpenPGP standard has governed the industry for several years now and almost all PGP implementations, including the one Symantec acquired from PGP Corporation, are completely interoperable at this point.

Furthermore, the two Ipswitch File Transfer products that implement OpenPGP (MOVEit Central and WS_FTP Professional) do not use technology licensed from PGP Corporation so there are no licensing, royalty or use provisions for Ipswitch File Transfer customers to worry about as a result of that acquisition.

The non-technical answer is “we’ll see”.   Under Jon Kallas’s leadership, the PGP encryption protocol enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the 2000′s.  If Symantec pigeonholes PGP into an overburdened application suite, like Network Associates/McAfee did when they owned PGP, then Ipswitch File Transfer customers could see industry-wide use of PGP encryption tail off as time goes on.  However, if Symantec makes PGP encryption a ubiquitous element of desktop, server, email and enterprise security the “renaissance” we saw in the 2000′s could become a revolution in the the 2010′s.

Either way, Ipswitch File Transfer is prepared to participate with its own OpenPGP implementations and the necessary automation and ad hoc interfaces to tie PGP into modern business processes.

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