Symantec Control Compliance Suite v11
Strengths: Agent and agentless data collection; integration and import of third-party data; dashboarding and reportin
Weaknesses: Pricing for all the modules in a larger environment can be high
Verdict: Good solution for IT risk and compliance management. Although it integrates well with other systems, it looks to be more powerful as a fully deployed suite
The Control Compliance Suite enables enterprises to define security and compliance-related policies. These are mapped to detailed technical checks and/or specific procedural questionnaires that measure overall risk and compliance within the IT environment.
The product is delivered as an on-premise software offering. Besides the hardware platform, the requirements include MS Windows Server 2003 SP2 or 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP2.
The Risk Manager component is designed to provide a quick view of IT risk. The process sets out to define an asset, either physical or business. The next step is to help visualise and document IT risk for the particular asset. Based on the importance of the particular line of business, assets and more, a 'risk threshold' can be set to alert owners when the security of those assets is in jeopardy. The tool will help prioritise remediation tasks based on risk, not severity.
The user interface is well laid out and easy to use, and navigation is Microsoft-like. Policy setup is done through templates, or users can import their own. The product comes with more than 150 mandates, best practices, regulations and more that are predefined and ready for use.
Using the same tool, users can link controls to policies. The policy portion is integrated with the risk module and remediation actions can be initiated with granular instructions to rectify non-compliance and mitigate risk.
Once policies and controls are set, users can assess the environment. Assessments can mean many things: one can assess against standards, use the vulnerability manager to discover critical vulnerabilities, evaluate procedural controls or integrate data from various third-party sources to review.
Security-related information can be collected using a general-purpose external data interface that enables the enterprise to broaden the risk and compliance view by leveraging other security products in its environment. Imports are supported via Open Database Connectivity, web API, or any flat file format.
It should also be noted that data gathering can be done using both agentless and agent-based clients. This feature gives a lot of flexibility in gathering information from devices.
There is an integrated workflow tool for scheduling and assigning tasks, or one can integrate directly with third-party ticketing systems. Reporting, charting and dashboarding are all excellent. A dynamic dashboard capability pulls everything together by presenting a customised view of risk and compliance for specific areas. Dashboards can be defined to address specific needs and include drill-down capabilities to yield specific, detailed information as needed.
Support and maintenance for Symantec's Control Compliance Suite v11 are available as extra services. The documentation, meanwhile, was complete and easy to follow.