Network World's Windows Networking Strategies Newsletter, 03/08/06

Elemental Security compliance system wins a seal of approval

By Dave Kearns

In last week's "Best Products" issue of Network World, I chose Elemental Security's Elemental Compliance system as a "Category Breaker." That is, in the words of editor Beth Schultz, "...products [that] raise the bar with novel ways to solve today's enterprise challenges." Picking Elemental was easy since I used the dreaded phrase "new paradigm" when I first told you about the system last May.

We try to keep the choices of Category Breakers secret until the magazine is published so I avoided talking to the folks at Elemental Security while I prepared the write-up of their product. Which meant that, when I did finally agree to talk to them on the day the "Best Products" issue made the newsstands, what they wanted to talk about was a new release of the product (Version 2.0), now called Elemental Security Platform (ESP), which hit the shelves this week. If Version 1.1 was a Category Breaker, then Version 2 could be called the Category Definer.

Version 2 doesn't introduce any ground-breaking new features it simply expands on those already in the product - better scalability, broader platform coverage, finer grained role definitions, flexible scheduling, better integration with 3rd-party products and much more. Nothing spectacular, just bigger, better, stronger, faster! The high points:

* Scale: Supports up to 10,000 agents.

* New platforms: Solaris (server), AIX, HP-UX, Mac OSX (Agent).

* Managing Policies:
- Fine grained admin roles (read/write permissions).
- LDAP & RADIUS Elemental user authorization.
- Flexible policy scheduling (start / stop time, days of week).
- Rule exceptions.

* Policy Content:
- Best practices: CIS Benchmarks.
- Regulatory: HIPAA, PCI.
- Data protection (disable local storage and printers).
- Anti-Virus (Trend Micro), Anti-Spyware (CA, McAfee, Webroot, Lavasoft).
- Increased rules count (2,000-plus), additional enforcement (300-plus rules).

* Reporting:
- Increase to 100-plus.
- Fine grained scheduling, configurable over time reporting periods.
- Scheduled e-mail delivery.
- New report types (inventory / remediation / trending and change).

* Cisco NAC - Phase I integration complete.

Check what we said about Elemental's Version 1.1 last May, then head over to Elemental's Web site to read more about Version 2. Policy-based computing is something you should have been practicing all along on your Windows network. Elemental makes it easy to extend that paradigm to all the platforms you manage.

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2006

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Last Modified: March 9, 2008