In this Group Test we look at software solutions and hardware products which provide the means to access networks remotely, enabling security to be maintained when someone comes calling asking to be allowed in. Here we have a combination of an authentication software enabler and the means to access remotely using tokens and cards designed to ensure security levels are maintained.

The software, CRYPTOAdmin, is an authentication server and the backbone of the whole remote access solution. When combined with CRYPTOCard tokens and smartcards it provides a strong basis for remote access from anywhere in the world.

The software sits on the network so that the administrator can control who can access the system. Across a large organization administrators can be given service rights, which are specific to the groups or individuals they govern. This granular approach ensures that the workload is distributed and the group administrator only has the rights and privileges required to undertake his or her specific task. Users do not have to concern themselves with any software installation, indeed all they require is their CRYPTOCard token or smartcard to initiate a successful session, and of course their PIN. This simplifies the user experience and ensures that security is kept at its optimum capacity.

Installation is accomplished at network level by the security ­ administrator. With the software ­ provided on CD it is a fairly simple process ­ - except for the retrieval of pdf documentation from their web site. This takes a lot of printing since color slides are used. This is a time- consuming and a print-ink-greedy act that we particularly disliked. However, the actual installation was not so bad, and had we known that we would be handheld through each stage by the installation wizard we might well have given the manual a miss altogether.

The server and client should be initially installed on the same computer to ensure it is working smoothly, and your choice of components can be added as you install by following the on-screen prompts. No rocket science here.

Once up and running you have a scalable and extremely useful authentication model, which can be configured easily, choosing groups to add users to by following a tree-like structure.

It worked well, which is the main thing, and the security it offered was very good. Let's hope they resolve the wasted ink problem on the printing of the dreaded pdf manuals, though following our comments we have been promised manuals in pdf format on the ­ installation CD and hard copies of the quick start guide.

Product title
Product info
Name: CRYPTOAdmin (Remote Access group test) Description: Price: $3,995
Scalable, easy to configure, useful authentication from user perspective and administration.
The pdf documentation; I think it's still printing now (or did we run out of ink?).
Manuals aside, this solution is a complete one for both network and user, with a variety of choices for the administrator and a few easy-to-use authentication token and smartcard options with PIN for the user. 

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