Product Information

RSA Keon Digital Certificate Management

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February 01, 2003

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:

    Powerful encryption, suitable for the most sensitive documents.

  • Weaknesses:

    Dry and dusty documentation.

  • Verdict:

    One of the leading digital certificate management suites on the market, RSA is definitely a company to be trusted.

There is another aspect of security that is often overlooked in the rush to install firewalls, anti-virus software and email management systems, and yet it is possibly the oldest aspect of them all. Many people bemoan the days when they could leave their doors unlocked and not worry - and that was because there was a large degree of trust in the community. Exactly the same is true of many of the new business practices that the internet has made possible. Whereas a deal might once have been sealed with a handshake, over the impersonal internet that isn't possible. Or is it? One company that has long believed that it is, and has become the market leader in asserting it through its technologies, is RSA.

RSA Keon Core PKI Product Suite is a set of powerful applications which will allow you to construct a complete public key infrastructure (PKI) to allow trusted communication over the internet. After installation you will have the Keon CA (certificate authority) and the Keon RA (registration authority) applications present on your machine. The former issues digital certificates, while the latter processes applications for the certificates. You will also be able to generate public and private keys for encryption and decryption.

No one can argue that this is a fairly complex installation. Care must be taken to understand what you are installing, and what all of the components will do. Given that the desired end result is to create trusted communication between users, a great deal of forward planning must be undertaken beforehand, and considerable care taken during the installation.

The suite comes with a library of manuals, but sadly they are really heavy going. One might argue that a product such as this is a serious bit of software, but that is still no excuse for making people wade through manuals that wouldn't have looked out of place 20 years ago. On the plus side, RSA offers extensive technical support.

Obviously, this isn't the sort of product that an SME or branch ­ office is going to consider, given the sheer complexity of installation - they'd be better off with something like Encryption Plus. But for the enterprise, the finance house or the government office, this product is a highly efficient and very powerful way of ­ instilling trust into business once more.

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