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Products of the Year: Security management systems

Information Security magazine unveils the best security management systems of 2004.

GOLD MEDAL: Secure Enterprise
Rating: 86

Security management systems come in many shapes and sizes: enterprise security management (ESM), policy enforcement/updating, security information/event management (SIM/SEM), remote device control, configuration management, etc. Our security management category encompasses all of these solutions because the industry hasn't yet settled on the best approach. While none of these tools is deployed in the majority of organizations, the majority of organizations deploy at least one. Among the nominees, three products emerged as best-in-class in this broad category.

Our gold winner, Sygate's Secure Enterprise, is among an emerging class of technologies that address the challenge of endpoint security. Secure Enterprise performs a security "health check" on untrusted hosts attempting to access the network via RAS, wireless or VPN.

Using a server/agent architecture, the system evaluates security-critical parameters on the client, such as patch levels, OS and application configurations, and AV and personal firewall status. Based on this assessment, the Sygate Management Server permits the client an appropriate level of access. Endpoints that pass the health check are granted access to authorized resources, based on domain policy; those that don't are either blocked or quarantined until they can be updated.

The result is a defense-in-depth architecture that extends beyond the core network.

One user was impressed with Sygate's "multilayered personal machine defense strategy." Another called Secure Enterprise "the most exciting product we've seen recently."

In a world of ubiquitous connectivity, danger lurks in semitrusted devices. Sygate's Secure Enterprise performs a critical function by ensuring that the productivity gains of virtual computing aren't undermined by a "default permit" access policy.

SILVER MEDAL: ePolicy Orchestrator 3.5
Rating: 85

USER COMMENTS: "Orchestrator has been out for years, and it's phenomenal."

"It allows us to centrally manage our AV globally very inexpensively."

BRONZE MEDAL: Tripwire for Servers
Rating: 83

USER COMMENTS: "Very stable product; it does an outstanding job."

"It's very well known. With a little training, you can get it up and running in a day."


This was last published in January 2005

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