TITUS Message Classification
Strengths: Great for the end-user as it helps them remain cognizant of the type of information included in their messages.
Weaknesses: Clunky, almost do-it-yourself central management, doesn’t actually provide encryption services.
Verdict: While it’s a fine tool for categorizing messages, TITUS Message Classification shouldn’t really be considered an email security product.
At its core, TITUS Message Classification is just what its name suggests: a tool with which to classify messages. While it does have some features that help enable content filtering and encryption, it is clear that email security was not its primary focus.
Installation was not straightforward. The documentation provides a list of prerequisite software add-ons and knowledge bases (KBs) that must first be installed, and in the correct order. There are some installation scenarios that even require Microsoft Office itself to be reinstalled. Control of the product was done via configuration files. These needed to be stored either locally or centrally, and then each instance of the software was pointed toward those configuration files by way of registry keys, deployment of which was left as an exercise for the user. We at the SC Labs wound up storing the configuration files in a secure location on a file server and used group policy to push out registry changes to our test stations. While this worked well for us and we appreciate the flexibility that the approach offers, the whole implementation felt sloppy. We would have liked to see a more formal central administration tool, instead of merely some suggestions in the administrator's guide outlining what a web application could possibly do that the end-users write themselves.
The tool itself is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook and is designed to work in environments that have strict data classification requirements. On creating a new message, a series of new buttons are added to the toolbar, which allow the end-user to select how to classify the message (e.g., public, internal, classified and more). The software can modify the email body, placing tags or disclaimers based on the classification selections made at the time of sending. It also can scan messages and attachments to automatically classify a message, or prompt the user to apply a recommended classification. Message classes can be configured to provide message blocking based on keywords or recipients, and can scan Active Directory to provide classification based on group membership of the sender. Beyond that, however, it relies on external applications - the software doesn't do any of its own encryption and can only force digital signing or S/MIME if those features are already configured in the target environment. Additionally, end-users needing to scan PDF attachments are required to purchase an add-on from a third party. Also worth noting is the fact that the workstation operating system and the version of Outlook installed must match bit types.
Documentation comes as a 324-page PDF file. While there are hotlinks in places, there were no bookmarks, and so we found ourselves paging up and down quite often. The content itself was well done, with descriptive text and plenty of screen shots.
Customers receive eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week support, which provides access to phone and email technicians and access to the company's website support portal. This offers a knowledge base, user forums, FAQs and the ability to log support cases. Unfortunately, TITUS does not offer 24/7 support.
The tool retails for $26.95 per user based on 5,000-plus users, with a maintenance charge of $6.74/seat/year. Volume discounts are available.