Baltimore SelectAccess

Baltimore has produced one of the best access control products currently on the market. Select-Access is a welcome step forward in access control.

One of the biggest headaches facing anyone responsible for installing and maintaining any kind of user-specific security application is the sheer number of users and their different requirements. In most ­ policy-based products, this has traditionally been accomplished by a series of lists - users, access requirements, access restrictions and so on - and the administrator then had to match the lists together. A single mistake - due to lack of time, lack of training, or simple error - will create holes that can be maliciously exploited.

So, it is refreshing to see that Baltimore has chosen a graphical interface for this, with users and resources represented by the two axis of a grid. The policy is set by clicking on the intersection of each, and can then be further refined for factors such as when access is permitted. The grid method for configuration is infinitely superior to list-based methods, saving time and increasing confidence. Hierarchical structures can be created to allow policy management at various levels. This means that installation and configuration are simplified, not only reducing the time needed to roll out the product across the network but, due to its simplicity, dispensing with the need for training.

And it gets better. Users aren't stuck in the 20th century with PIN numbers. SelectAccess is designed to integrate with virtually all authentication methods currently available. Obviously that includes PIN numbers and passwords, but you can also look into SecureID tokens, digital certificates, and even biometrics. And if SelectAccess doesn't offer built-in integration for your chosen method, there is an API that can be used to add a further level of fine-tuning.

Documentation is extensive and impressive. From installation to development, every aspect is covered in straightforward detail.

Baltimore is to be congratulated on producing a product that combines impressive functionality with outstanding ease of use. If you have a large organization, this is ­ definitely an application well worth ­ considering.

Product title
Baltimore SelectAccess
Product info
Name: Baltimore SelectAccess (Access Control group test) Description: Price: $20 (per user, up to1,000 users)
The grid method for configuration is infinitely superior to list-based methods, saving time and increasing confidence.
A definite winner, SelectAccess is high on functionality and high on ease of use.

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