Open-Xchange Launches Tool to Encrypt Online Communications

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Open-Xchange has launched an open source encryption tool to provide an extra layer of security on its email and collaboration solutions.

Browser-based OX Guard encrypts email and file content with symmetric AES keys, according to a report by GigaOM, then with RSA private/public key combinations. It is able to encrypt traffic sent over OX regardless where it is hosted – either on the service provider or customer side.

According to the report, OX Guard automatically decrypts messages sent between Open-Xchange users, but allows Open-Xchange users to send encrypted messages to non-users as well. In this case, recipients are sent a separate email with a link to open up a password-protected guest account page.

As GigaOM points out, OX Guard is simple for users, in part because they don’t need to deal with encryption keys since those are managed on the server side. This could create an issue if an end-user doesn’t trust whoever is managing their server, but if they have enough technical know-how, they could keep it on a server of their own.

Germany – where Open-Xchange is based – is a country with particular sensitivities to security. Recently, Germany’s postal service Deutsche Post launched a free secure messaging app called SIMSme, which allows customers to send encrypted text messages, photos, videos and contact and location information.

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