VASCO aXsGUARD Gatekeeper
Strengths: Inexpensive with a good combination of remote access and UTM features.
Weaknesses: Requires a lot of manual configuration.
Verdict: An affordable and secure remote access gateway with some very good UTM features.
The aXsGUARD Gatekeeper from VASCO Data Security is more than just a simple UTM. This product provides a complete secure remote access platform that incorporates many perimeter security functions. The Gatekeeper can be driven by one of four available software bundles, allowing for flexibility of features and functions based on need. The standard software bundle provides a good base of functionality, including a firewall, intrusion prevention system, web content filtering, spam protection and anti-virus at the gateway. Beyond the perimeter security offerings, the Gatekeeper can also integrate with the company's Digipass strong authentication platform for added security.
For our evaluation we took a look at the Gatekeeper Virtual Appliance. We began our installation by simply mounting the provided ISO file to our virtual machine configured per the instructions in the installation guide. Once we booted our virtual machine, the installation process began right away and after a few short steps the appliance was up and running. After the install was complete, we were able to browse to the web-based management interface via a web browser to begin configuration of the product. Upon first login to the interface, we were greeted with a short configuration wizard that allowed us to set up some basic configuration information and the administrative user account.
After the initial configuration, we were finally able to access the actual management interface and begin with our more in-depth configuration. We found the management interface to be fairly well-organized and we were able to get accustomed to managing the product after a few minutes of clicking around. Overall, we had a pretty easy time of managing the appliance, but found there was a lot of manual configuration that had to be done after the setup was complete. This product does include a great amount of functionality, but is far from plug and play. With that said, the appliance offers some highly configurable and flexible options that can be set to work in many different types of environments.
Documentation included an installation guide for the virtual appliance, administrator guide and several other supplemental guides for configuring all the various functions of the appliance. Overall, we found all the documentation to be well-organized and to include a large amount of easy-to-follow, step-by-step configuration instructions along with screen shots and diagrams.
VASCO offers eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone- and email-based technical support as part of the purchase price for the first year. After the first year, customers can purchase assistance renewal at an additional cost. Customers can also purchase 24/7 support and other specialized options as well. VASCO also offers a large support area available to all customers via its website. This area includes product downloads, technical documentation, a knowledge base and a few other resources.
At a price just shy of $200 for the virtual appliance, we find this solution to be a good value for the money. The aXsGUARD Gatekeeper provides a large amount of configurable security and remote access features that are included, but some are also licensed per user as well, so that price can easily go up based on type of functionality.