ActivCard Secure Remote Access Solution

February 10, 2005

ActivCard AAA Server has been designed for industrial or large-scale implementation. Its separate administrative console allows for delegation of multiple administrator roles if the situation calls for it. Installation of the software only requires a system large enough to hold Windows Server 2003 running as a Domain Controller.

We checked the initial installation by testing connectivity to the LDAP server.

The set-up and installation manuals are well thought out and presented. The documentation takes you step-by-step through the install. Technical support is available through a toll-free number plus a basic online troubleshooting FAQ. Overall helpfulness of the services was minimal. (The vendor points out that premium support customers can access the online ActivCard knowledge base).

Throughout the install, security was preserved for the server in place. Consoles can be installed anywhere and configured to point back to the administrative server. Administrative capabilities are available via the web interface.

User token keys can be imported through simple wizards located in the administrator's menu. Default passwords can be changed immediately upon activation of the token.

The product features a well designed graphical interface and the menu-driven user interface proved fairly easy to navigate. End users are prompted to enter a one-time password at login for access to be granted.

ActivCard provides an integrated database that controls both the tokens installed and user accounts assigned to the tokens. Users have the ability to log into multiple consoles using the same device and PIN but not the same password since each login uses a randomly generated one-time password.

It supports multiple protocols although listed only Windows as the supported operating system.

The product is reasonable value for money but support was required during installation due to the difficulty in connecting to an existing system. Overall, once in place and operating, the product seemed to perform as advertised.

Product title
ActivCard Secure Remote Access Solution
Product info
Name: ActivCard Secure Remote Access Solution (Two-factor 2005) Description: Price: $2,499 for 25-user starter pack, including ActivCard KeyChain Tokens, AAA Server, and Wireless LAN Activation License
Strength
Documentation, support and installation are strong.
Weakness
Some difficulty in integrating with Windows Server 2003 and LDAP.
Verdict
An industrial-strength solution that is integrated into the existing enterprise. Requires skill to set up and administrate but offers several useful user-credentialing options that support large enterprises quite well. Recommended.
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