Sophos Network Access Control Review

Great security with a user-friendly interface and excellent stability

What is our primary use case?

I have been using the solution in order to manage the security aspect of access control. It guarantees that the people can access the infrastructure in a correct way when using different kinds of firewalls like Sophos, Cisco, MikroTik, et cetera, for example. 

It's used for security hosting in terms of firewalls, which is a router with firewall performance and can really control the access from that side. It's able to manage such a level of security due to the fact that it's working on Layer 2 according to the HESA standard.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I like the best is the level of security that it can provide.

The interface is very user-friendly and it makes it easy to manage the product due to the fact that you have complete control over the system and you can set up everything in a very easy way.

The solution is quite scalable. You can expand it if you need to. It's designed to be modular.

We've found the solution to be very stable. The performance is great.

The installation is very straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The interface on the cloud could be a bit better - just to give more performance on it. However, it's just a very little thing that can be improved. Overall, the product has a very good level of quality.

In terms of features, at this point it truly satisfies out needs and nothing is really missing from the offering.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a few years at this point. It's my primary go-to system. It's been more than three years, I would say.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good overall. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so easily. It's not a problem. It's a very modular product which makes it easy to expand upon.

It depends of the situation, however, typically, you can start with five users or up to around to 100. The product is very flexible from this point of view. There is not really a limit on that as you can manage a very huge amount of users according to the needs of the customer.

We do plan to continue to use the product into the future as we are largely quite happy with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used technical support and have been very satisfied with them so far. They are largely helpful and responsive.

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

I haven't really used another product previously. I do occasionally use other products, however, I prefer to work with Sophos.

For example, I'm using MikroTik products and another brand of product that I'm using for a client project. They can be integrated together and compliment each other, and therefore their services don't exactly conflict.  

Normally, I use Sophos for control of access to the infrastructure of the company and I can use another product behind Sophos just to extend the functionality inside or to improve the performance of the network or give the customer a different level of control on the system. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not difficult. It's very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process.

Typically you can deploy everything in one day. It's not a long process.

For the maintenance, you need just one person and that normally is the IT manager inside the company that just needs to be familiar with items such as the level on the assessments to understand how to manage the system. They mainly just need an understanding of the company's architecture and they can manage the process. The product can reach its maximum level of performance if you know exactly how the product is working and which features the product can provide. If you have someone that doesn't understand, there is no way to really appreciate what the product can do.

What about the implementation team?

I handed the implementation myself. I did not need an integrator or consultant or any outside help. It was all handled by me in-house. I have all of the capabilities needed to handle the task.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is modular. That means, you typically buy a base license and then add on what you need to increase its functionality.

If you want to, for example, install a main gateway, or if you want to increase your data just to improve the level of security, you can buy some additional licenses just for these specific needs. This is up to you and it just depends on what you want to have and level of security. 

If you like, you can start with a base solution, and after, you can buy an additional module according to your needs. It's not mandatory to start with an entire package at the same time.

What other advice do I have?

I am not necessarily using the latest version of the solution. I am using different kinds of versions. It depends on the customer's needs. Normally, I approach the client to try to understand their needs, and, following this, I will choose which is product can satisfy them.

The deployments also differ according to the client's needs. Typically, it is on-premises. That said, this product can also work in Cloud which means the servers can be shared between on-premise and on the cloud. This is mainly, for a double level of security. In this way, the product can be managed on-premise and can be managed with that access on the Cloud. 

I can usually propose a simple solution and a simple model. In other situations, however, I have to use products that are more sophisticated in terms of hardware and in terms of the performance that is required.

I would recommend the solution to others. The product has the capabilities to satisfy all kinds of needs that a company may have. You can find the right solution without spending a lot of money. The solution is very powerful from this point of view.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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