CoSoSys Endpoint Protector 2008
Strengths: The web interface for management was a handy feature.
Weaknesses: The installation was a bit time-consuming and complex, and the client operating environments are severely limited.
Verdict: A solid offering which performs well in the arena of monitoring removable devices.
Endpoint Protector 2008 provides control of removable devices and peripherals from laptops and desktops. The CoSoSys product can monitor connections from many types of devices, including USB flash drives, wireless USB, memory cards, card readers, ZIP drives, floppy drives, CD/DVD player/burner, etc.
This is accomplished using a two-tiered architecture that consists of a centralized server and a client installed on the endpoint. The types of client endpoints are restricted to only Vista and XP. A unique piece to the CoSoSys offering is the flexibility as to which type of operating system the server can run. The most common OS is a Windows 2003 Server with SP1 and IIS version 6.0. In this configuration, PHP is necessary, as is a MS SQL database and the .Net Framework 2.0.
If you wish to go the non-Microsoft route, you can use a Linux-based server. CoSoSys recommends Debian Linux or Debian-based Linux variants, such as Ubuntu. Regardless of the Linux OS selected, the additional components remain virtually the same as in the Microsoft environment. This means the Linux server requires Apache web server with PHP, a MySQL database and OpenSSL libraries installed. This flexibility allows environments to control costs while making ease of installation choices.
However, the product performs only device protection and this is restricted to Vista and XP. Typical products in this category either provide more protection than just devices or support more operating systems.
CoSoSys includes eight hours a day/five days a week support via email in several languages. Additional fee-based support and maintenance includes updates and upgrades, bug fixes and remote desktop assistance for setup and maintenance. This level of support is available for 20 percent of the purchase price annually. Phone support is available to established customers and trial users. Web-based support with a chat feature and a FAQ list is also offered.
The pricing is based on per seat licensing. The per seat fee for up to 250 seats is $22. This puts the Endpoint Protector 2008 at the upper end of the price spectrum.