Cyberoam CR 250i
Strengths: Protection not only for the perimeter via firewall and IPS, but also from many types of malware
Weaknesses: Most policies have to be configured manually
Verdict: A strong product with a good feature set, but needs default policies set to "all not explicitly allowed is denied"
Cyberoam's CR 250i protects on many levels. It can be deployed as a gateway using NAT, or in bridged mode to protect the network transparently. This device provides a firewall, IDS/IPS, anti-virus both at the gateway and email, anti-spam, anti-spyware, web content filtering and protection from phishing and pharming. It can also be set up as a VPN.
All these features come together in one simple-to-manage web console. This console is well-organised and intuitive to navigate. The front-end console comprises a dashboard packed with many useful monitors and statistics. Although several monitors appear on the dashboard, it is well-organised, so finding information is easy. Deployment of this product is guided by an intuitive wizard, so that getting the product up and running is quick and easy.
We found this product to be quite flexible and very powerful. The only problem we saw during testing was that, out of the box, it appears to rely on its firewall, because most of the IDP (intrusion detection and protection) policies are set to detect only by default.
This means we had to go in and reset a lot of them, with the consequent danger of missing something. Security wisdom dictates a policy of everything not explicitly allowed is denied. This product does not seem to follow that best practice by default. However, one of this appliance's interesting features is its ability to create rules based on individual identities, as well as embedded authentication using LDAP, ADS and Radius.
The documentation includes a small quick-start guide and several other guides on a CD in PDF format. The quick-start guide explains deployment options and guides the user through the set-up wizard.
The other guides are divded into specific pieces and functions of the device. This really helps with finding detailed information on specific problems or configurations. All of the documentation is easy to read and contains many screenshots.
The vendor website provides a small support area, which includes a knowledge base and demos, as well as many resources such as product guides. Technical support can also be contacted by email, phone or online chat.
With a base price of just over £2,000, this appliance provides a lot of functionality at a fairly affordable cost. Available in various sizes for different enterprises, it represents good value for almost any environment.