Symantec Mail Security 8300 Series
Strengths: Comprehensive feature set with a strong policy engine.
Weaknesses: Recurring subscription fees are a downer.
Verdict: Solid performance from a security leader, but it comes at a price due to recurring fees.
SummaryThe Symantec Mail Security appliance houses several email content management features in one well-integrated device. This product includes spam filtering, anti-virus, content filtering and data loss prevention technology, as well as integration with instant messaging. It can also search deeply into attachments to find possible hidden threats.
We found this appliance to be quite simple to setup and configure. The initial setup is done by connecting a monitor and keyboard to the device and entering simple network and domain information. After initial setup is complete, the device can be connected to the network where further configuration tweaking and management is done through the clean, web-based GUI.
This product seamlessly integrates into the existing environment and can pull users and groups for assigning policy. Also, this tool includes comprehensive and flexible workflow for compliance policies, including the ability to perform multiple actions and apply them to groups, tracking multiple dispositions, a graphical condition builder, pre-built policy templates and dictionaries, regular expressions for regulatory compliance and internal governance, and over 50 pre-built policy templates.
Documentation was provided in the form of a small binder that contained both the installation and administrator guides. Both are well organized and offer many step-by-step instructions, as well as tables and charts. There are, however, no visuals to further illustrate some functions. This can cause confusion in certain areas.
Software support includes access to product upgrades and technical assistance during business hours for the course of the software subscription. Essential software support provides 24/7 technical assistance, as well as product updates. Business Critical Services include Symantec’s premium level of support.
With a hardware price just under $1,000, plus additional per year subscription costs, we rate this appliance an average value for the money. While it may not seem like a big expense on the front end, the subscription costs could become quite costly over time.