CA Top Secret Review

The reporting is everything to me as far as being able to respond quickly to either in-house, client, management, or auditor's concerns.

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What is most valuable?

I find the ease of installation and the ease of understanding and reporting on the product is excellent. We are always debugging things. The reporting is everything to me as far as being able to respond quickly to either in-house concern, client concerns, or auditor's concerns, or management for that matter.

What needs improvement?

To me, I like the way they do the future stuff. I noticed they have a thing now where the password complexity is now going to be used for administrations as a control option. I'd like to see that more granular, see where you could get the passwords that are being enforced, but you can enforce it at different hierarchical layers between the product. Currently, it's all or nothing. I would like to see it a little bit more granular.

For how long have I used the solution?

With Top Secret, I'm very familiar with it, I've been with it for 27 years so to me the familiarity of the product is the biggest thing and I'm able to do things quickly because of that familiarity and my expertise.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is wonderful. The people who support the product, the ease of getting in touch with the support area, is great. The agile development teams and being involved in it, which we were, excellent. I love the way CA is doing things.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a fairly large security database, multiple LPARs running the product. Very scalable to our current environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

The best. Believe me, I'm not not only responsible for Top Secret, I'm responsible for other security products. By far the best vendor that we have. The responsiveness. They come back immediately. If they don't know the answer, they get the answer, which is all you can ask for.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For my group, we're decentralized administration. We have tons and tons of administrators across the platform. We have over a 130,000 users on the database and probably another 2,000 administrators. My group, I believe, should have the ability to turn that function off because we're a group of 5 people that are running the thing from the top. That's just my thought on the whole thing.

How was the initial setup?

I think it's straightforward, absolutely straightforward. For me, it's second nature.

What other advice do I have?

I'd give it a 9.5/10. I think it's a pretty good product. It was very well written and the ease of administration and the ease of the commands and the ease in which you can report on it are top notch.

I'd start by calling support and getting their best recommendations for the current environment. I think the support group does a great job and they will direct you. Also, read the installation guide to do best practices through that. For the most part, the product installs fairly easily and if you have an understanding of the product before you start to install is a key thing. If you don't, you can make some grave mistakes in implementing the product.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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