CA Secure Content Manager
Strengths: Installs onto Windows systems and standard hardware.
Weaknesses: The installation is slow.
Verdict: A very good all-around product with an easy-to-use interface and a superior logging/reporting mechanism.
SummaryThe offering from CA is a software-based product that runs on top of Windows Server 2003. This device performs URL filtering, as well as anti-virus and anti-malicious code filter. Secure Content Manager filters HTTP and SMPT traffic. The logging feature of this product is among the best we have seen. The logging works through the management interface and is quick enough to be considered real time. The device works as a proxy, which requires all desktop clients to have the correct proxy settings. Also, Secure Content Manager by default displays a message when a user attempts to visit an inappropriate site, and not just a typical 404 — Object Not Found — error page.
The installation of the Secure Content Manager is easy if not quick. We used a downloaded version of the product and the file size was just short of 500 MB. Once we extracted the files, the installation was a typical setup.exe type of install. A wizard-like configuration emerges as the software is installed. There are several modules to install, but each choice is explained and the default options are usually correct for the installation. We liked this simple installation process and the wizard moved it along nicely.
The configuration of the Secure Content Manager is handled through a Win32 application and the process is straightforward. Of the products we tested in this Group Test, it took us the least amount of time to modify the URL blocking categories. The interface is among the simplest and most logical in its format.
Documentation is included with the download from the CA website. The files are indexed and are available on the installed machine.
Support is available via phone, email and web. The web support is free and support is a large and easy-to-use database. Contact information for support is listed on the website.
The pricing for the Secure Content Manager is at the top end of products tested in this Group Test. For organizations with less than 50 employees, the cost for the Secure Content Manager, with all of its features enabled, is more than $170.