McAfee Internet Gateway 3000
Strengths: Highly flexible and customisable appliance
Weaknesses: Difficult and awkward to use at first
Verdict: A powerful tool in spite of its awkward setup procedures
A strong feature set makes McAfee's Security Internet Gateway (SIG) a heavy hitter in any organisation's architecture. The SIG provides anti-virus scanning against all protocols, while anti-spyware scanning blocks potentially harmful spyware, cookies and adware from getting on to the network. To protect against spam the SIG uses an engine consisting of anti-spam, anti-phishing rule sets, permit-or-deny lists and a spam-learning feature. The SIG enforces policy and compliance issues regarding out-going data transmission as well as some forms of data leakage. This appliance is easily configurable by IT staff and, once configured, requires minimal administrator intervention.
This product is fairly simple to set up and manage. The deployment begins with an easy-to-follow setup wizard that gathers information about the basic environment through the web interface. Once the wizard is complete, the appliance reboots and further configuration is continued through a web GUI. This is quite cumbersome at first, however, after spending some time with the appliance we found it became easier to navigate.
The Secure Internet Gateway can integrate with existing Active Directory groups and users to create specific and granular policies. However we found policy and rule configuration to be confusing and awkward due to their high granularity.
The documentation is in-depth and complete. The step-by-step administrative instructions explain clearly what is required for a successful deployment of the device. The table of contents is hot-linked for easy information retrieval. We would have liked to see more helpful visual aids within the documentation, but still managed to install the device without problems.
McAfee offers tiered levels of support with this product, including gold, gold select, platinum and platinum select service packages. For example, the gold support offering includes 24/7 phone support, engine updates, product updates and access to online tools, a knowledge base, technical support service portal and global solutions lab.
At a price of £1,848, this product is average value for money. Although it takes some time to get to know how to use the appliance, it does offer some excellent flexibility and very nice features.