Privacy Networks is adding archiving capabilities to its suite of email security software.

E-mail Integrity Suite (EIS) 5.1 has PrivacyVault, an archiving engine that also indexes and stores email and makes it available to end users via a search interface. The Linux-based application includes a policy feature for automatically controlling who can view or delete email from the archive.

EIS is made up of a series of modules, including anti-virus and anti-spam engines that intercept email before it reaches the mail server. The spam engine crawls every word in every e-mail message, and EIS uses that information to create the PrivacyVault index and archive. The software compresses and encrypts the data and stores it in the EIS database, which is based on the open-source PostgreSQL database. PrivacyVault also offers an export feature so the archive can be backed up to tape or other media.

"What I like about Privacy Networks is that they made it simple so you could bring big company expertise [on archiving and retrieval] down into the mid-market," says Eric Ogren, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "Those companies don't have large IT staffs, but they still have problems with messaging, and this makes it so much easier for them."

PrivacyVault is available as a hosted service, a managed service or as software deployed within a corporate network.

PrivacyVault uses a web-based search interface for retrieval of email and attachments. End users can key in on words, phrases or dates, but PrivacyVault also supports attributes such as date range and sender/receiver. Administrators can set up a tiered-access system using policies that define who has access to what and what functions they can perform. By default, end users are entitled to search and retrieve their own e-mail. The software logs access to the archive and encrypts the data on the hard drive.

"With our tool, if I know as an end user that I can search the archive any time that I want, then the end users will stop hoarding email on their own systems," says Steve Berens, CEO of Privacy Networks.

PrivacyVault works with any email server and sits at an email gateway between a firewall and an email server. EIS first checks email for viruses and spam before sending it on to the email server. PrivacyVault stores a copy of the email in addition to the copy placed on the server. Privacy Networks plans to add an encryption module to EIS later this year with the same ease-of-use features as PrivacyVault.

EIS with the PrivacyVault option is US$5,000 per server and is available now.