Fortiva’s Interesting Email Archiving Solution

Fortiva is a new Exchange email archiving offering, currently in beta test with a number of respected firms, particularly ones in the financial services world. This is worth keeping an eye on.

It provides policy-based archiving, and full-text-search-based discovery and retrieval. It's a hosted solution that employs one or more customer-premise-based appliances.

The customer-premise-based appliance integrates with Active Directory for both configuration and access control, and performs the following major tasks:

  • It retrieves journaled Exchange messages from an Exchange journaling mailbox.
  • It examines the message to determine based on a set of policies whether it should be archived or not.
  • If a message is to be archived it performs word-level encryption of the message and it's attachments using patent-pending "double-blind" encryption.
  • The word-level encrypted message is then transferred to the hosting site over an SSL encrypted channel.
  • At a later stage, authorized users, can interact with the appliance to compose full-text queries with an authorized scope.
  • The search terms in this query are then "double-blind" encrypted before being transferred to the hosting site over an SSL encrypted channel.
    Messages that satisfy the search criteria are then transferred to the appliance over an SSL encrypted channel.
  • Received messages are then "double blind" decrypted for display to the querying user

Fortiva's unique selling proposition is that all email messages stored off-premises at the hosting site are word level "double-blind" encrypted so as to ensure the privacy of their content. We have not reviewed this technology to determine how secure it is likely to be, but it will certainly eliminate an ability to directly view message content at the hosting site.

The main competitors are hosted solution providers Iron Mountan and Zantaz, who currently support archiving and discovery across a wider range or records.

Author: Nick Shelness

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