Product Information

eSafe Appliance

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June 01, 2003
Vendor:

Aladdin Knowledge Systems

Product:

eSafe Appliance (Appliance group test)

Website:

http://www.esafe.com

Price

$2,500

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Easy to set up and manage, with a good graphical user interface.

  • Weaknesses:

    Has no functionality outside the 'content-filtering' arena in its broadest sense.

  • Verdict:

    Especially suited for small- to medium-sized businesses, the Aladdin eSafe Appliance offers all the content security features you could require.

The Aladdin eSafe Appliance is a hardened, Linux-based device, which can be configured as an email inspection tool (SMTP relay) and, additionally, as a full content-filtering gateway for HTTP/FTP. To obtain the full content-filtering gateway functionality you need to use Check Point Firewall-1 configured with a HTTP/FTP security server as a content vectoring protocol (CVP) client.

When scanning HTML pages or email, the eSafe may be configured to strip out all VBScript or JavaScript code. Or it can use its SmartScript technology, which strips out selectively depending on the source of the code being inspected or whether it contains specific forbidden or damaging functions. There is also a 'smart' cookie-stripping feature that allows web sites to create all the cookies they like, but strips out the html links required to read them. Benign sites that require fully functional cookies to operate usefully can be set up as exceptions, so that they work normally.

The content-control option uses SurfControl for content filtering, which blocks URLs associated with non-productive and non work-related subjects. There is also an offensive word list to which you can add your own extra words. Spam filtering is based on searching for key words that are often found in spam, but which are unlikely to appear in genuine emails. There are two separate lists - one for scanning the body of the message and one for scanning the subject header. Both lists come with a default selection of words, to which you can add your own to block the particular type of spam from which you suffer.

There is also a full anti-virus engine, which was developed by Aladdin itself, and is certified regularly by ICSA to detect 100 percent of in-the-wild viruses. For those who prefer to use a brand name well known in the anti-virus industry, there is an option to add the Kaspersky engine.

Initial configuration is carried out with any standard web browser. Once this has been done, you can use the secure Win32 application, called eConsole, for management. eConsole is very graphical and provides one of the best reporting and real-time monitoring displays we have seen. A 3D ribbon graph shows SMTP activity for both inbound and outbound traffic. There is also a continually updated list of in-progress, blocked, allowed, clean and modified messages displayed both numerically and as a pie chart.

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