Strengths: Maintains the user ID/password combinations and automatically provides them to sites for end users
Weaknesses: Installation and administration may require training
Verdict: Good for end users, but a bit tough for administrators; features are unique and make the effort worth it
The Authenex Strong Authentication System (ASAS) is a server software-based offering, like many of the other products in this review. The product uses USB and key fob-based tokens. ASAS also has USB tokens to run the server application, as well as the web configuration interface.
The key component of the product is its ability to securely store the passwords and user ID combinations for websites, FTP sites, VPN sites and instant messenger accounts. The ASAS also provides centralised logging and reporting of authentication.
Installation was reasonably easy, considering the number of components involved. The system uses Apache Tomcat server and a Java client, in addition to the common Active Directory components. The solution uses Radius as well. The application requires several USB slots on the server to be open. Two USB keys are used for the authentication to the server and two USB tokens are used for the web administration interface.
We found the web application interface a bit overwhelming and felt we would need training in order to administrate the application to its full potential. The layout of the administration interface was simple, but the descriptions and logical layout was a bit off, and we were not sure which subcomponent of the interface would carry out the admin tasks we needed. The swapping of the USB tokens during the install was an effort, although eventually we were able to get the right token in the right slot.
Not surprising then that the hard copy user and the administration guides were essential reading. A product overview or a quick install guide would have been welcome. Other documentation comes in the form of PDF files. The guides are easy to follow, and most administrators will need them.
Authenex offers phone, email and a web portal by way of support. We used the knowledge base often and found it to be good, covering most of the issues an administrator would encounter. We also used the FAQ section of the site regularly.
Pricing starts at £36.98 for a 1Gb token. That puts this product in the middle of the price spectrum. Given its many features, the product offers value for money.