Symantec Brightmail 7.7
Strengths: The largest number of dictionary templates we've seen. Excellent prevention of data leakage
Weaknesses: Could be a bit more intuitive
Verdict: Overall great value. A solid number of security features that many types of organisations will find useful
Symantec's Brightmail Gateway (formerly Symantec Mail Security 8300) is an appliance-based solution that protects inbound and outbound email messages, as well as other protocols, such as instant messaging. It has a number of protection mechanisms, including encryption, anti-malware, anti-spam and smart identifiers to help prevent data leakage.
Initial configuration wasn't as easy as we'd like. Although there are no significant technical hurdles, we felt that it could have been a bit more intuitive, such as by including a remote setup option. Installation is completed by attaching a keyboard and monitor directly to the appliance.
Users who are familiar with Symantec's range will instantly recognise the polished look and feel of the web-based dashboard. Relevant data contained within the reports and graphs is partly based on Symantec's familiar Threatcon model. There are several features above and beyond simple email protection. The inclusion of instant messaging protection is a nice add-on.
Symantec also includes a module to protect against data leakage from a regulatory compliance perspective. This is based on pre-defined dictionaries, smart identifiers and other content. The list of dictionaries and regular expression templates is impressive and the solution can monitor for several different types of data, such as social security numbers, sensitive medical information, credit cards and others. Overall, the appliance has a strong set of granular administrative features, including automated report scheduling, detailed logs and backup/restoration of the appliance data.
Documentation is excellent and includes a thorough hard copy binder that outlines every detail of the solution. Help information is available online within the appliance as well.
No-cost 8/5 support is included in the base price and contains a warranty for the hardware as well as software upgrades for the appliance. Essential support (24/7) is available for a five per cent fee above the base cost. Additional dedicated support options are available as well.
Overall, this is a solid offering from Symantec, a truly enterprise-class appliance that has plenty of features that scale nicely for several different sizes of business.