July 03, 2009
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Works well with Active Directory. Good integration with top NAC vendors. Helpful documentation
- Weaknesses: Missing whole disk encryption support
- Verdict: Overall, StormShield is good value for the money
StormShield Flexible Data Encryption 5.1 by SkyRecon is a client-server structured software solution that provides file- and folder-based encryption to host machines. The server portion installs on Windows platforms (2000 and above) and requires Microsoft SQL Server (Express edition is included with the installation wizard). The client software installs on Windows XP and Vista SP1.
Installation for the server portion is packaged in two separate, wizard-driven interfaces. Overall, the installation of the product was straightforward, but we felt there were some small details missing from the setup documentation that would have sped up the install process a bit.
Once the management console was up and running, we had to refer to the documentation several times to figure out how to create and manage users, computers and policies. The product's interface would have benefited from being a bit more intuitive. Luckily, the rest of the documentation on how to administer the solution is excellent, with precise screenshots and instructions.
The product's integration with Active Directory was seamless, and we were able to import users based on entire directories, OUs, groups or individuals. Policy management covers all the expected basics. Removable media is protected as well, via a passcode created by the enduser. The client software is configured within the management console and is pushed via SMS or downloaded from a web browser interface. The solution can also integrate with a good number of endpoint and NAC vendors.
One feature that we found to be interesting was the fact that administrators must perform a "check out" and "check in" operation any time they want to create a change in policy. While this provides a nice accountable feature for auditing, it might slow down the process a bit for administrators who are making frequent and granular changes to policy during initial deployment.
Documentation comes in three PDF files that are indexed and searchable. While a few details are missing, overall we found them to be adequate and helpful. Both 8/5 and 24/7 support is available for 18 per cent and 30 per cent of the licensing cost respectively.
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