Looking for a way to protect sensitive information in email messages and documents--a way that makes it easy for users to give messages or documents a label such as "classified" or "restricted" and ties that label to some action such as encrypting classified messages or limiting delivery of restricted messages to certain trusted domains? If so, you're not alone. The consulting company Titus International developed a Message Classification solution for a customer that asked for it, then made it available to others. Three years later, Titus spun off Titus Labs to further develop and market the product.

Obviously, Titus discovered that there's some interest in this type of solution. Lara Bender, senior product manager at Titus Labs noted that Message Classification is used by "a mix of customers from different verticals"--military, government, law enforcement, medical, pharmaceutical--and other industries that must follow regulatory standards for classifying messages. The company also has a Document Classification product.

I wondered about user resistance to products that force them to label messages and documents. Tim Upton, Titus Labs president, said that most customers keep things pretty simple by using just three levels of classification. Also, customers can break in the products gradually by first just requiring the most sensitive messages and documents to be labeled and working up to requiring labels on all messages and files. And users seem to appreciate the fact that they just need to pick a label from a list that shows up in their familiar Microsoft Office (Outlook, Outlook Web Access, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) interface and the required action (e.g., encrypting, applying rights management to the message or document) happens automatically.

Message Classification and Document Classification are closely integrated with the Microsoft environment. In addition to users choosing labeling options from drop-down lists within the Office interface, administrators use Microsoft Group Policy and Active Directory (AD) to manage the products.

Another facet of the two Titus products is that the labeling produces metadata that email archiving and content scanning gateway solutions can use.

For more information, go to http://www.titus-labs.com.