Safend Protector v3.1
Strengths: Excellent granular policies provide a lot of flexibility and high-end security
Weaknesses: Policy management can become difficult and client deployment requires either manual intervention or GPO
Verdict: Good product with excellent documentation and good value for any size enterprise
Safend Protector offers many features for a high level of USB security. At the media level, this product can provide encryption to removable USB keys as well as forensic reporting of all data moving in and out of the organisation. At the interface or port level it can restrict based on existing Active Directory users or computers. Devices can also be restricted based on type, model or a specific serial number.
Installation was quite simple and took only a few minutes. Once the product was set up, we were able to access the management console, which has an easy-to-navigate interface with a simple tab-top layout. However, policy management was a little more complex. The policies can be set for a lot of granularity and, while this is excellent for device control, we found it a little difficult to use at first. Client deployment is also slightly tricky. This can be done either manually or through domain group policy object. The latter is an excellent way of deploying clients, but we would have liked to see an actual deployment tool as well.
Thanks to its integration with Active Directory this tool can be an easy way to control both removable media and the actual ports on specific machines. Safend Protector also provides a lot of detail for policy granularity and total control of the environment. It has the ability to provide several encrypted logs and alerts, which can be viewed directly in the management console or in third-party software products.
The documentation provided consists of two user-friendly PDF files. The installation guide highlights many of the useful features and provides many diagrams and step-by-step deployment instructions. The user manual offers more detail.
Safend offers web-based email support as part of the product's one-year maintenance agreement, which is 20 per cent of the perpetual software licence cost. Customers can upgrade to a "gold level" support, which offers 24/7 phone assistance and additional contact information. Maintenance is included in Safend's term licences and assures customer access to all bug fixes, updates and version releases for one year.
With prices starting at around £16 per seat, this product is good value for most size enterprises.