CA Secure Content Manager
Strengths: The software can be installed on to windows systems and standard hardware
Weaknesses: The installation is slow due to the large file size
Verdict: A good all-round product with an easy-to-use interface and a superior logging/reporting mechanism.
The offering from CA is a software-based product that runs on top of Windows Server 2003. Formerly known as eTrust Secure Content Manager, it performs URL filtering as well as anti-virus and anti-malicious code filtering and can screen HTTP and SMTP traffic.
The logging feature is among the best we have seen. This works through the management interface and is quick enough to be considered real time. The device works as a proxy that requires all desktop clients to have the correct proxy settings.
Also, when a user attempts to visit an inappropriate site, CA Secure Content Manager by default displays a message rather than the typical 404 - Object Not Found - error page.
Installation is easy if not quick. We used a downloaded version of the product and the file size was just short of 500MB. Once we extracted the files the installation was a typical setup.exe type. A wizard-like configuration emerges as the software is installed. There are several modules to install, but each choice is explained and the default options are usually correct. We liked this simple installation process, and the wizard moved it along nicely.
You perform the configuration through a Win32 application and the process is straightforward. Of the products we reviewed for this group test, it took us the least amount of time to modify the URL blocking categories for this one. The interface is among the simplest and most logical in its format.
Documentation is included with the download from the vendor's website. The files are indexed and are available on the installed machine.
Support is available from CA via phone, email and web. Online support is free and comes in the form of a large and easy-to-use database. Contact information for further assistance is listed on the website.
The pricing for the CA Secure Content Manager is at the top-end of products tested in this review. For an organisation with fewer than 50 employees with all of the SCM features enabled it works out at more than £236.