Review: Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise

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Review: Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise

Despite the small performance hit, we feel the modular suite is an impressive enterprise-class product and is fantastic value for money.

SafeGuard Enterprise from Sophos is a series of software-based components that comprise an entire modular suite. The five components in SafeGuard Enterprise include Partner Connect, Management Center, Device Encryption, Data Exchange and Configuration Protection. At the heart of the suite is the Device Encryption module, which offers whole disk encryption to client hosts, and the Management Center, which is the enterprise management module where configuration and policy options are managed and pushed down to clients.

Installation of the components is easy and straightforward. The solution was installed on our Windows 2003 test server and required Microsoft SQL Server, as well as .NET. There are lots of configuration options and specific machine settings for client hosts.

From a performance perspective, the entire 75GB laptop was encrypted in two hours and 40 minutes. The various encryption components protect the whole disk, boot sectors, volumes and removable media for laptops and some mobile devices. However, booting to Windows XP from the PBA screen was noticeably slower than we'd like to see. Despite this small shortcoming, the suite of products offers some of the best options and protection mechanisms we've seen.

Keys and certificates are easily managed through a central key ring console, and the administrative flexibility using LDAP is top notch. Reporting, auditing and logging will help administrators easily meet compliance requirements as well.

Documentation for the entire suite is available in PDF format and is comprehensive. We found that the guides were descriptive, helpful and contain the right balance of screen shots and text.

SafeGuard Enterprise includes basic eight hours a day/five days a week phone and web-based support. Optional 24/7 support is available for 20 percent of the base cost. An additional option for dedicated consulting is available as well. Despite the small performance hit, we feel the modular suite is an impressive enterprise-class product and is a fantastic value for the money.

For:Flexible encryption options; support for numerous strong authentication devices.

Against:Slight performance degradation when booting a host machine.

Verdict:A great enterprise product with tons of useful features.

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