Sophos ES1000 Appliance
Strengths: Easy to configure and contains a solid number of features
Weaknesses: Quarantine could be more intuitive. No custom templates to search for sensitive data strings
Verdict: Overall good value, given the features and the price
The Sophos ES1000 Email Appliance is an appliance-based solution that secures inbound and outbound messages through content filtering, sender validation/reputation checking, anti-malware scanning, encryption and other features.
Installation was easy and straightforward. The directions were simple and the device was up and running in no time at all.
The web-based interface of the dashboard is slick and was one of the easiest to navigate. After initial configuration, we were able to easily understand where all of the key implementation options are within the appliance interface. Enabling all the key features, such as anti-malware, anti-spam, encryption, reporting and others, is easy to understand shortly after initial login.
Within an enterprise environment, administrators will appreciate the high-availability options and the ability to manage multiple devices within a single interface.
Our only gripe about the appliance is that it did not contain options for building smart identifiers (credit cards, account information etc). With so many other granular security options, we felt a solid quality appliance like the ES1000 could benefit tremendously from these kinds of features.
Additionally, the quarantine mechanisms were not as intuitive as we would have liked. After an object is quarantined, we were unable to navigate to a quarantine screen and drill down to the specific item. We had to perform a search in order to identify and view the particular item - a much more difficult way to obtain the data we were after.
Documentation is adequate. Help files are available on the appliance, but were not as detailed and extensive as we would have liked.
Basic email and phone support is included in the cost of the product. Premium (24/7) and platinum level (dedicated support) are available at additional cost. The Sophos support site contains a dedicated portal section.
Overall, given the cost of the product, we feel this represents solid value. There are some features that are absent but also enough options to provide adequate messaging security at a price point that many organisations will find attractive.