SkyRecon StormShield 5.1
Strengths: Works well with Active Directory; good integration with top NAC vendors.
Weaknesses: Missing whole disk encryption support.
Verdict: Overall, a good value for the money.
SummaryStormShield Flexible Data Encryption by SkyRecon is a client-server-structured software solution that provides file- and folder-based encryption to host machines. The server portion installs on Windows platforms (2000 and above) and requires Microsoft SQL Server (Express edition is included with the installation wizard). The client software installs on Windows XP and Vista SP1.
Installation for the server portion of the software is packaged in two separate wizard-driven interfaces. Overall, the installation of the product was straightforward, but we felt there were some small details missing from the setup documentation.
Once the management console was up and running, we had to revert back to the documentation several times to figure out how to create and manage users, computers and policies. The product's interface would have benefited from being a bit more intuitive.
The product's integration with Active Directory was seamless, and we were able to import users based on entire directories, groups or individuals. Policy management covers all the expected basics, such as allowing or disallowing encryption of files/folders on an inclusion/exclusion basis. Removable media is protected as well via passcodes created by the end-user. The client software is configured within the management console and is pushed via SMS or downloaded from a web browser interface. The solution itself can integrate with a good number of endpoint and NAC vendors.
Administrators must perform a "check out" and "check in" operation any time they want to create a change in policy. While this provides a nice accountability feature for auditing, it might slow down the process a bit for administrators who are making frequent and granular changes.
Documentation comes in three PDF files. While a few details are missing from the documentation, overall, we found them to be adequate and helpful. Eight hours a day/five days a week and 24/7 support is available for 18 percent and 30 percent of the licensing cost, respectively.