Strengths: Provides an intuitive way of handling removable media
Weaknesses: LDAP integration, key recovery and documentation could use small improvements
Verdict: An overall solid offering, given the price point for volume licensing
DESlock+ is a software-based product that contains both a central administration server component as well as a client application to manage encryption in the enterprise. Both the management software and client agents install on any 32-bit Windows host from 2000 to Windows 7 RC and the backend database is SQL Server.
Installation of both the management console and client agent is driven by point-and-click wizards which provide a fast and easy setup. Once it is set up, integrating with an LDAP service is a bit tricky. Instead of a direct import or synchronisation with a directory service, administrators are required to export users to a .CSV file and then import the file to the DESlock+ database. Unfortunately, as users or groups change, this must be repeated.
Admin and management is straightforward and intuitive. Users are assigned keys based on logical groups, and user access to hosts, folders, files and removable media is based on this chain of permissions. Encryption methods ranging from whole disk to individual files or folders are set by policy from the management console, which contains a vast number of useful, customisable options. One tiny drawback we noted was when whole disk encryption is used. Users will have to authenticate three times to the host: the PBA screen, the Windows GINA and then the DESlock+ client software.
A unique feature that we liked is the way DESlock+ handles removable media such as USB drives. Users are able to utilise USB tokens without having to encrypt the entire drive. An encrypted folder is created on the stick and any PC with the DESlock+ client software installed will mount the drive from the encrypted folder, making the root folder of the drive equate to the encrypted data. Data is visible or hidden depending on whether the host has the agent installed.
With the extensive features of the product, we would have expected to see an extensive set of documentation, but it consists of just one PDF, which provides some screenshots and brief instructions.
Included in the cost of the product is 8/5 phone and email support. The support website contains a user knowledgebase and FAQ list.