Review: ZENworks Endpoint Security

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Review: ZENworks Endpoint Security

ZENworks Endpoint Security Management (ESM) v3.5 provides a centrally managed endpoint security product that controls and manages wireless connectivity. The ESM offers complete control over all wireless connectivity within an organisation.

The product only allows the use of approved wireless devices and NIC cards as designated by the organisation’s policy. It automatically distributes WEP preshared keys without user intervention. Administrators can gather and receive data on rogue access points and unauthorised WLAN’s quickly.

From a user perspective, these products allow security in potentially risky access points, as well as the ability to safely conduct business from multiple locations.

While the ESM is not yet a snap-in to ZENworks, the vendor tells us that connectivity is due soon. Meanwhile, there is good coupling between the two. This is important, because the whole idea behind ZENworks is that it sees the enterprise and its components holistically and manages everything in roughly the same way.

The ESM does not provide a standalone wireless security system. Rather, it integrates with the wireless devices on the network to report and manage their activity. It uses no sensors, but manages endpoint devices through agents placed on them. This is an excellent adjunct to other products, including some of those we reviewed in this issue.

Novell documentation is laid out well and consists of a suite of useful guides and manuals. These are easy to navigate and the table of contents is linked for quick reference. The installation guides make good use of screenshots and provide a step-by-step approach for deployment. The user guide associated with the ESM is helpful as well.

Novell offers online and telephone support. There is a well-constructed website for support and locating answers to problems. The site contains a customer centre, discussion forms, documentation, patches and a knowledge base.

Prices start at £34 per device or as part of the Secure Desktop Solution at £59. This can get a bit expensive, depending on the size of the enterprise.

For: First-rate management infrastructure and documentation
Against: Missing some functionality expected of wireless security systems
Verdict: If you are a ZENworks shop, you need this. Make sure you have other wireless security functionality in place

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