Product Information

Compusec

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April 01, 2003
Vendor:

CE Infosys

Product:

Compusec (Smartcard group test)

Website:

http://www.ce-infosys.com

Price

$210 - $215

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstarstar
  • Ease of Use:
    starstarstar
  • Performance:
    starstarstarstar
  • Documentation:
    starstarstar
  • Support:
    starstarstarstar
  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
    starstarstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Simple unambiguous functionality.

  • Weaknesses:

    Poorly conceived installation utility.

  • Verdict:

    A product for those with no current data encryption functionality.

This product concentrates on hard disk data encryption. However , it does include a VPN client integration for IPCrytor VPN gateways, which is a remote access solution. Encryption may be in relation to your own local hard drive, or a specific directory or folder on the corporate LAN.

Having encrypted the data accordingly, the user will not be able to access it without first presenting their token, either a smartcard via a conventional smartcard reader or a USB chip token. This can be used as a corporate or single user version as supplied.

Perhaps there is something to be said for an application which has a single well-defined function and, if data encryption is important, then this product will be of interest.

The installation booklet supplied with each product stresses that installation is very simple, and indeed it is. Install the drivers for the token being used, install the software utilities and off you go.

However, installation wasn't exactly as described in the booklet. Furthermore, un-installation was very messy. Perhaps this was something to do with the rather unusual proprietary installer, built evidently with Visual FoxPro. This we are informed is used to provide functionality and reliability of the database, in larger distributed corporate environments with multiple configurations, where database files are used to automate installation; something that could not be seen during the test.

Whether you would actually need a product such as this is a good question, as many other security products include data encryption services as part of their functionality suite.

If all you really want to do is protect access to personally created data files using some sort of plug in token, then this type of product is worth considering. The developer says that version 4.12 delivers single sign-on and also supports PKI. They add that CompuSec scans the USB bus before booting the OS, supports hibernation mode and now comes with SafeLan, which allows organizations to cryptographically separate users on file systems.

With regard to the product, the overall presentation and installer might be revised to present a more presentable user experience.

With any product of this type, the user must think about data back up and the safekeeping of their tokens and associated information.

CE Infosys point this out in the accompanying booklet, but a more comprehensive manual would be appreciated.

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