Strengths: Full encryption functionality with native multifactor authentication integration
Weaknesses: Deployment of client side could be a little more intuitive
Verdict: Solid encryption utility that can be a bit challenging to deploy
ProtectDrive from SafeNet offers a fully integrated set of encryption features to protect data across the enterprise. Administrators can configure various encryption and management policies to be deployed throughout the Active Directory domain and users can easily encrypt and decrypt files and folders.
Installation comprises two parts: the first is setting up and configuring the server and management tools. The server install uses Active Directory application mode to connect to the domain and manage policy. Once the server is installed, all management is done through a Microsoft Management Console snap-in so Windows administrators should feel right at home navigating the interface and setting up policy. The second part is deploying the client-side application. We found this to be a little confusing at first and the documentation is not very clear on what needs to be done. After the client application is deployed and the user has been assigned to a policy the product is up and running.
Policy can be easily configured from the management console and includes many functions. Administrators can not only set encryption policies, but also additional options such as certificate usage, default permissions for device access, user lockout and user interface options. ProtectDrive can also natively interface with many multifactor authentication options, such as smartcards or tokens.
Documentation provided included two PDF manuals. The first is the administrator guide, which details installation, setup and configuration from the server and administrative side. The second is the user guide that illustrates how users can get the most out of the features and functions of the product. Both guides are well organised and include many screenshots and step-by-step examples.
SafeNet offers fee-based support options only. The two levels include the extended service plan and plus service plan and contain various options, such as phone and email support, access to an online knowledgebase and product downloads and updates.
At a price of about £36 per seat we find SafeNet's ProtectDrive to be good value for the money. It offers a fairly comprehensive encryption feature set, with many additional options at a very reasonable price for almost any size organisation.