Nokia Secure Access System 500s

High marks for security and access control.

Summary of Clear Choice Test of Nokia Secure Access System 500s.

Data sheet for Nokia Secure Access System 500s
Starting price: $5,000
Overall score: 4.2

As an early entrant to the SSL VPN market in 2002, Nokia has traditionally concentrated on fine-grained access control and took an early lead in configurability and flexibility. If you're a security and control freak, Nokia's strategy should hit your comfort level (see results of security policy testing).

Other features, such as a more user-friendly portal (see results of portal testing) and Mac and Windows network-extension clients took longer to get out Nokia's door, but are now core parts of the system. However, the most visible faults of the platform lie in the area of network extension, where Nokia has done a poor job at integrating its network-extension clients into the platform itself (see results of application interoperability tests), botched the end-point security integration (see results of end-point security tests, and didn't carry its access control granularity into the network extension client (see results of security policy tests).

Nokia's appliances will be especially interesting to enterprises that have settled on the Nokia platform for firewalls, because there is commonality to both configuration and ongoing management parameters (see results of manageability tests). Unlike most other SSL VPN vendors, Nokia offers a heavy suite of services on the underlying appliance, ranging from IPSec to clustering to dynamic routing. For new customers, this can be confusing and frustrating, but Nokia's platform has become a reference standard in most enterprises. If Nokia continues its commitment to add features and functionality, the Secure Access System will remain a strong competitor.

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