Trend Micro's Interscan Web Security Virtual Appliance, Interscan Messaging Security Virtual Appliance and Advanced Reporting and Management gave us consolidated threat reporting and corporate policy management across our network. We easily varied security policies by network segment, company division and company department, at our option. We particularly liked Trend Micro's unified view of network security across an entire enterprise.
You install the Interscan Web Security Virtual Appliance, Interscan Messaging Security Virtual Appliance and Advanced Reporting and Management software on your computers, thus giving you fine control over the speed and capacity of your gateway. Installation is a snap.
The Symantec Web Gateway (acquired from MI5) and Mail Security (from BrightMail) devices have somewhat disparate user interfaces. Both are browser-based. Web Gateway has a useful Executive Summary report screen that tells, at a glance, the security threats and activity levels the Web Gateway is experiencing. Symantec Web Gateway additionally produces about a dozen reports on malware activity. These show, for example, infections classified by spyware name, potential attacks, client application usage and sorted lists of your network's Web destinations.
Symantec Mail Security's browser-based interface features an intuitive dashboard, an Executive Summary (quite different from the Web Gateway's Summary), reports for monitoring e-mail activity and spam levels and even a compliance summary that highlights potential violations of corporate policies regarding message content.
The Symantec Web Gateway installs via a browser-based wizard, but the Symantec Mail Security appliance installation needs to have a one-time monitor and keyboard connected for initial setup.
The Facetime Unified Security Gateway appliance has a Web-based user interface for setting configuration options, seeing real-time status and viewing reports. The Unified Security Gateway appliance interface is intuitive to use and easy to navigate. The USG status screens and reports are comprehensive and highly informative.
Installing the Websense Web Security Gateway V10000 or the Facetime Unified Security Gateway consists of cabling the box to your network, powering up and assigning an IP address via a one-time monitor and keyboard connection.
All these products' manuals were clear, comprehensive and easy to follow. All were online, with Symantec also providing hardcopy booklets and manuals.
McAfee's Web Gateway appliance is our Clear Choice winner. It does an excellent job of keeping malware (both Web site-based and e-mail-borne) at bay, is responsive, has an intuitive, customizable user interface and scales well. The other four products weren't far behind and all offer effective protection against Web-based attacks.
Nance runs Network Testing Labs and is the author of Introduction to Networking, 4th Edition and Network Programming in C. His e-mail address is email@example.com
Nance is also a member of the Network World Lab Alliance, a cooperative of the premier reviewers in the network industry each bringing to bear years of practical experience on every review. For more Lab Alliance information, including what it takes to become a member, go to www.networkworld.com/alliance.