Strengths: Many content analysis capabilities, including a built-in URL filter
Weaknesses: Lacks policy flexibility, high price for the feature set
Verdict: A good analysis product with adequate features and performance, but could be expensive given what you get for the money
Palisade Systems's offering in this category has quite a few useful features. For example, it uses content analysis to find possible areas of data leakage or problem emails. The appliance can be set to look for matches to phrases that would signal possible spam, words such as profanity or offensive content, or number schemes including credit card accounts.
The device monitors TCP/IP OR UDP traffic passively or inline and performs deep packet inspection of network traffic.
PacketSure also has a web filter, which contains a list of around 14 million websites grouped into categories that can be monitored or blocked. The list can be customised to allow access to specific sites contained within categories or to add further websites to the list.
While the initial configuration of this appliance is quick and easy, taking just a few minutes, the web interface is clunky and awkward. It is difficult to navigate and setting rules and policies is a confusing process. The content analysis engine was equally tricky to use, and we had to spend some time working with it to understand it.
The PacketSure appliance has several different deployment options to choose from. It can be deployed inline at the gateway, on a hub, on a switch with a span port or on an ethernet tap device. However, its rules are of average flexibility and rather simplistic in nature. The documentation consists of a quick-installation card and a PDF manual. The card offers details on topics such as deployment options, basic configuration tasks, update setup, and creating the default rule set.
The PDF manual can be downloaded from the product website and illustrates all areas of the web interface and product areas including advanced configuration. We found the information to be easy to follow and well organised, with many screen shots and diagrams provided.
Palisade Systems offers unlimited phone support and software upgrades for 20 per cent of the list price. Further assistance is available on the website for customers. This includes product documents and other downloads. These support capabilities are typical of the product type.
Like others, The PacketSure appliance has a staged pricing policy depending on installation. Within the package tested some good functionality was included, but it fell short in many areas.