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TechTip: Free Desktop Encryption Tool Keeps File Transfers Safe

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Eliminate the risks involved with unsecured email attachments by using this free desktop encryption software to protect sensitive data.


Here's the challenge. You need to send quarterly financial statements to your accounting firm, and you know it's risky to send those spreadsheets as an email attachment. You need a fast and easy way to encrypt that data so that you can deliver your private financial numbers securely, protected from unauthorized access.


Linoma Software's release of its free desktop encryption tool, GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio, solves that challenge in no time.

What Does OpenPGP Studio Do?

GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio allows users to easily encrypt, decrypt, sign, and verify files so that transfers with trading partners over the Internet are secured.


This unrestricted freeware can encrypt sensitive documents on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Files can also be decrypted and managed within OpenPGP Studio by authorized personnel.



Figure 1: GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio's intuitive dashboard makes it easy to select tasks.


For non-repudiation, GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio can also be used to digitally sign documents for confirming the sender's identity.


Figure 2: OpenPGP Studio allows you to sign and verify files to ensure credibility.


Additionally, an integrated key manager allows users to quickly create, import, export, and manage Open PGP keys needed to encrypt and decrypt files.



Figure 3: Managing asymmetric keys is simple with GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio's Key Manager.

What Makes GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio Different Than Other Desktop Encryption Tools?

Most free ad hoc encryption tools depend on conventional encryption methods that use a single (symmetric) key or password to encrypt and decrypt information. This key or password should only be known to you and your trading partners that need to encrypt/decrypt data. But how can you securely share these keys or passwords with each other easily without them falling in the wrong hands?


In contrast, OpenPGP encryption is a dual-key (asymmetric) encryption system that uses a combination of a public key and private key. The public key is used to encrypt the file while the corresponding private key is used for decryption.


The public key can be shared with all of your trading partners because, even if it falls into the wrong hands, it can be used only to encrypt data. Since it's a "trap door" key, the public key cannot decrypt data. Meanwhile, the private key remains in your possession so that you can decrypt any files sent to you by someone using your public key.


Conversely, if a trading partner (such as your bank) wanted you to send them encrypted financial data, they would first send you their public key. You would then import the bank's public key into GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio's key manager, which could then be used to encrypt any files you need to send to them. The bank would use their corresponding private key to decrypt those files.


OpenPGP Studio supports a wide variety of encryption algorithms, including Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple Data Encryption Standard (TDES) ciphers to provide the best protection.

What Are the Advantages to Using the GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio Desktop Tool?

First, it's easy to download and install. While it can be found on many of the most popular software download sites, it's easiest to download from GoAnywhere.com, where all of the documentation also resides.


OpenPGP Studio is designed with an intuitive interface that makes it easy for those with limited technical training to use. It looks and functions much like most file-manager applications, viewing files in standard windows and performing tasks by clicking on buttons. Additional options are included in dropdown menus, and the navigation among menus is simple. What used to be a complicated process is now point and click.


Finally, by using Open PGP asymmetric encryption, GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio removes the need to share passwords with file sharing partners, which in itself avoids a significant security risk.

Who Should Download GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio?

The ideal user would be someone who gets periodic requests to send encrypted files to other partners, or someone who receives OpenPGP-encrypted files from those companies. This includes organizations that deal with banks, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and others who must meet compliance regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, and more.


To see GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio in action, watch this video tutorial.


While GoAnywhere OpenPGP Studio does allow ad hoc encryption or decryption of files by the end user, it does not automate these tasks. If you need to be able to schedule your file encryption/decryption workflows, then you should consider a managed file transfer solution like GoAnywhere Director.


Bob Luebbe

Bob Luebbe is Chief Architect at Linoma Software (www.linomasoftware.com) and has spent nearly 30 years in IT with the last decade focused on developing encryption technologies and managed file transfer solutions. Bob also consults with organizations on achieving regulatory compliance in data protection.



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