Now There Are Two Vendors of Identity-Based Encryption

Voltage Security is becoming known for its easy-to-use encryption software, which bases the key management on a user's identity -- typically, the user's email address. This has many advantages over traditional public key infrastructure (PKI) solutions, as we pointed out in a recent report. Now, there's a new kid on the Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) block -- Identum.

Identum's architecture is different from Voltage's in several notable respects:

  1. Where the keys are issued -- Identum has a centralized architecture; Voltage's is federated.
  2. When the keys are issued -- Identum's scheme has the clients prefetch keys each month; Voltage's has the clients recalculate the keys.
  3. Simplicity -- Key generation is essentially outsourced to Identum as a service; Voltage customers each run their own server.
  4. Security -- Identum arguably provides better security, at the expense of a reduction in control.
  5. Performance -- According to an academic paper, Identum's encryption/decryption performance is significantly better than Voltage's.

We describe this in more detail in a new report, just issued.

It's good for both vendors that there are now two IBE players. It validates the market and provides additional impetus for each of them to innovate. We project that the email encryption market will be worth $1.5 billion per year in five years' time.

... Richi Jennings

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