Security Edge Platform
Strengths: IPS and content filter that sits outside to stop attacks before they reach the network
Weaknesses: Small feature set
Verdict: A unique product at a good price but with a limited feature set
DeepNines' Security Edge Platform (SEP) takes a new look at UTM. This device does not become the gateway, but instead works with an existing firewall and sits between the internet and the perimeter to stop attacks before they can hit the firewall. Beyond its interesting approach, this appliance also offers web content filters, blocking of peer-to-peer and chat programs and fully customisable rule sets.
We found the SEP to be quite easy to deploy and manage. Initial configuration consisted of simply setting a management IP address and loading the Java-based management console on to our management computer and we were up and running.
From there we instantly noticed the near real-time views of network traffic and statistics on the Security Edge Profiler screen, which is loaded in a separate web window. The management console itself is easy to navigate, and managing the device was simple and intuitive.
This solution gets high marks for performance. While it is not quite as feature-rich as most UTMs, its approach to network protection is one of a kind. We also liked its ability to tie directly into Active Directory for easy policy creation and group policy management.
Documentation for this product includes installation instruction sheets and a user guide, as well as separate documents for setting up both Active Directory and eDirectory integration.
The installation instructions are custom-designed for the specific deployment and give clear step-by-step instructions plus topology diagrams. The user guide is supplied in PDF format and also includes clear and simple configuration instructions, complete with numerous screenshots and examples.
The vendor provides 24/7 phone and email support as well as a small knowledge base via the website. We find that the support offering is above average.
DeepNines offers five different models, from the SEP 910 with a throughput of 10Mbps to the 91000, with prices ranging from £2,559 to £24,572. We consider this solution good value for money thanks to its interesting approach to perimeter security and its ease of use and management. However, it is a bit low on features, so it does not deliver the whole scope of protection we expect from today's UTM appliances.