Strengths: Huge number of features
Weaknesses: Difficult to install and configure
Verdict: For the enterprise that needs a large number of features or is looking for identity management, SafeSign is a strong offering
SafeSign is the offering from Thales E-Security. It is a server that can be installed on to several different operating systems including Windows, Solaris, Linux and HP-UX. The application provides two-factor authentication through the use of a Thales calculator-style token that includes a slot for a smart card, or through any standard token from other manufacturers.
The key components of this product are the centralised logging, centralised management, reporting and self-password reset through the use of the identity management console. In fact, SafeSign is more in line with identity management systems than most standard two-factor authentication products.
The application is quite complex and uses a large number of modules and components to achieve a wide array of features. One of the most useful features of the SafeSign product is the fact that it can operate as a Radius server and provide authentication to industry-standard Radius devices, applications and protocols.
The installation of SafeSign is far more complex than the installation of most other two-factor authentication products. Since the product resembles an identity-management system, the installation mirrored that of these sorts of products. With all the modules and components to install, this product would do better as an appliance rather than as a software product. This is especially true since the product does install on a wide variety of platforms including Linux.
Documentation is in the form of searchable and indexed PDF files, which are very well done. We could find what we were looking for in the 231-page installation and configuration guide quickly and easily.
Support options are primarily through phone support. A web portal exists, but SafeSign is not a drop-down choice and the web support is neither a knowledge base nor FAQ. Rather, it appears that it is a piece of the PDF-based documentation. Pricing for standard support is 20 per cent of list price in the first year and 16 per cent in subsequent years. Support can be upgraded to 24/7 support for an additional fee.
The pricing for SafeSign, which starts at £9,950, is at the high end of the spectrum and is more in line with the pricing of identity-management kit.