McAfee Email and Web Security appliance 3100
Strengths: Provides bi-directional protection for web and email content at gateway
Weaknesses: The navigation of the dashboard was very slow in our tests
Verdict: Very good product for gateway malware protection, very attractive pricing, easy to use and manage
The McAfee Email and Web Security appliance is one of three gateway products in this review. It provides web and email content filtering for incoming and outgoing mail and web traffic. The appliance has support for HTTP, FTP, ICAP, POP3 and SMTP protocols.
Initial set up was very easy and quick. Upon boot up we noted that the appliance runs on a Red Hat Linux Kernel.
Once booted, we were able to access the appliance from a secure web browser. The Appliance 3100 web interface provided a detailed dashboard for managing key email and web events, along with the navigation for customising everything from email alerting to web and email policies to compliance policy and policing.
As a gateway technology, the McAfee Email and Web Security appliance was able to police not only inbound traffic but outbound traffic as well. It came with a very impressive set of templates for setting compliance policies for sensitive data for standards such as HIPAA.
The virus and spyware blockers scan every web download and email attachment at the edge of your network before they have a chance to infect your systems. A useful feature is that built-in McAfee SiteAdvisor proactively warns users about websites that harbour spyware, phishing scams or spamming agents. The appliance also blocks access to inappropriate websites.
The appliance was very easy to manage, use, tune and update. The documentation was complete and accurate but we found that we did not need to use it much, as the web-based dashboard was very intuitive.
A benefit to providing malware protection at the gateway is that it is always on and it does not provide a user the ability to turn off functionality or work around the security.
There are many support options available for an additional fee and standard support includes next day support for the hardware.
As a standalone solution or part of a layered approach, at £2,677 the product is a great price for the performance. In a perfect world it would become part of your defence in-depth architecture and provide layered malware protection to complement any endpoint solution you would choose.