As an appliance, the initial setup was very easy and fast. On boot-up, we noted that the appliance runs on a Red Hat Linux Kernel. Once booted, we were able to access the appliance from a secure web browser. The web interface provided a detailed dashboard for managing key email and web events, along with the navigation for customizing everything from email alerting to web and email policies to compliance policy and policing.
As a gateway technology, the McAfee Web and Email Security Appliance was able to police not only inbound traffic but outbound traffic as well. The appliance came with a very impressive portfolio of templates to set compliance policies for sensitive data for standards such as HIPAA.
The virus and spyware blockers scan every web download and email attachment at the edge of your network - before they have a chance to infect your systems. Built-in McAfee SiteAdvisor proactively warns users about websites that harbor spyware, phishing scams or spamming agents. The appliance also blocks access to inappropriate websites.
The tool was very easy to manage, use, tune and update. The documentation was very complete and accurate, although we found that we did not need to use it much as the web-based dashboard was very intuitive.
A benefit to providing malware protection at the gateway is that it is always on and does not provide a user with the option to turn off functionality or work around the security.
There are many support options available for an additional fee. The standard support includes next day support for the hardware.
As a standalone solution or part of a layered approach, at just under $4,000, the product is a great price/performance buy. In a perfect world it would become part of your defense-in-depth architecture and provide layered malware protection to complement any endpoint solution you would choose.