F-Secure Policy Manager supports both Windows and Linux environments, though we only tested on a Windows platform.
Its three components are the Policy Manager Server, a management agent and console, and client software, allowing for centralized deployment and management, with the console installed on the management server or run remotely.
The console allows the administrator to automatically and remotely install, configure and update the applications, though this only applies to F-Secure products. A reporting facility enables the administrator to monitor the network by generating extensive reports on the security status of the network.
The package comes with an encryption tool – FileCrypto – a distributed firewall, and a VPN. F-Secure's approach to encryption is commendable, with reassuring methods of implementation.
The Policy Manager interface is clean and intuitive. To start with, we built up a list of machines on the network with an autodiscover feature that creates a domain tree, and then used the Push Installation Wizard to install client software. The console allows you to specify target IP addresses as well as WINS names for easier management.
We deployed updated virus definitions and set up policies, which can be distributed across a number of Policy Manager servers on larger networks, thus improving scalability for enterprise deployment. An alerts system indicates when the network is in danger and when security breaches have occurred or been prevented. The reporting option enables you to produce custom reports in HTML or Excel formats.
The F-Secure software suite was a breeze to install and the various components were easy enough to get the hang of, but it could be said that the flexibility and functionality in the version tested actually makes management a little complicated at times. However the extra tools, such as encryption, firewall and VPN offerings are also a nice addition.