SafeGuard Removable Media 1.0
Strengths: Good purpose-built utility for ensuring that data on removable media is encrypted.
Weaknesses: Should have its own management utility for enterprise implementation.
Verdict: Useful tool, especially for smaller organizations that might not invest in more extensive data protection.
SafeGuard RemovableMedia is an interesting product. It has one purpose and one purpose only: to ensure that no data leaves the computer on a USB drive without being encrypted first. It is not particularly expensive and this little piece of software could make a big difference in how secure sensitive data is when it is away from the desktop or the server.
The product uses AES-256 encryption and has a host of useful features. For example, the key-ring feature allows multiple users to share the same data. Additionally, both encrypted and unencrypted data can be stored on the same USB device. Operation is transparent to the user, but if the software is not installed on the computer from which you want to read data in encrypted files, all you need to do is create self-decrypting executable files that just take a password to open. This is useful for sharing sensitive files with colleagues who do not have the RemovableMedia program.
SafeGuard RemovableMedia does not have its own centralized management utility for enterprise deployment and management. Rather, it can use Microsoft Management Console, Active Directory Group Policy Objects, or you can write your own management console using the included API. We found this to be a two-edged sword. On one side, the required Microsoft tools are ubiquitous. On the other, we expected an included enterprise management tool — as is typical with virtually every other type of enterprise-wide deployment of this product type — and most others one would expect to be used on an enterprise.
There is adequate documentation provided with the product in the form of a PDF file. The file is nicely indexed, and there is little difficulty in finding what you need since the manual is only 22 pages long. We found installation a snap and the product worked as advertised. Support is by subscription; however, there is a public area of frequently asked questions and a knowledge database, although there is not much there for this product yet.
At $52 per seat, plus the cost of management using non-dedicated tools, we find the value for the money to be average.