F-Secure Protection Service for Email
Strengths: Fully-hosted and feature-rich email security platform.
Weaknesses: Documentation lacks visuals and needs to be updated and rebranded.
Verdict: Although this tool offers the good quality we expect from F-Secure, the docs need work.
The F-Secure Protection Service for Email is a fully hosted email security offering that can work in tandem with an already existing email server to provide a complete set of email security features. This hosted service is built on a platform from a strategic partner - the Proofpoint Email Security - and features protection from spam and other email-based threats, and offers email encryption, a highly configurable policy-based email firewall and integrated data leakage prevention.
Since this tool is hosted by F-Secure, we found initial setup to be quite easy and straightforward. To get started we simply had to login to our web-based management console and complete a few simple configuration steps to begin filtering email. Overall, we found the administration console to be easy to navigate with an intuitive layout. The only place we ran into trouble was becoming familiar with all the various menus and configuration options. With so many things to configure, we became slightly overwhelmed.
With that said, this solution features many comprehensive policy controls ready to go right out of the box. It features several regulatory compliance policy templates onboard, as well as many default rules to provide solid filtering and protection capability. We also found this product to integrate well into the existing environment with seamless integration with Microsoft's Active Directory and Outlook.
Documentation included a short quick-start guide and a full administrator guide. Much of the supporting material available, however, has not been fully updated to reflect the hosted service, so we found some of the guides to be confusing as they contained reference to Proofpoint's products and not F-Secure's. We would like to see an instruction set that is specifically written for the hosted service and not the available appliance version. We also found that while much of the documentation contained quite a few step-by-step configuration instructions, there was a lack of screen shots and configuration examples to help further illustrate advanced configuration tasks.
F-Secure offers eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone- and email-based basic technical assistance as part of the subscription fee. At an additional cost, customers can also gain 24/7 premium aid and other options, such as a dedicated support technician. All customers can also access a large online help area via the vendor website. This includes a full knowledge base, user forum, support news and resources and support contact information.
At a price starting at $12 per license per year and going as low as $2 per license per year, we found this tool to be a good value for the money. F-Secure Protection Service for Email is a feature-rich hosted email security platform that can meet the needs of almost any size environment. While it does require an ongoing subscription cost, it is completely hosted, so there is no overhead for equipment and hardware maintenance, which adds to its overall value. We also found that this offering is easy to configure and manage, so there is less administrative effort required on an ongoing basis.