Symantec Messaging Gateway Review

Good fingerprinting and keyword rules, but it needs to better support unstructured data discovery

What is our primary use case?

We are a consulting company and this is one of the solutions that we have implemented for our clients.

One of our clients is in the automobile industry and we implemented the entire suite that consisted of email security, network traffic security, and end-user security including the setting of permissions and restrictions. We were managing then entire security landscape for more than 100,000 users.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I like the best is the fingerprinting concept.

The keyword rules and mapping of the sequence rules are very effective and very good.

What needs improvement?

In the automobile industry, they have a research and development department where they create a lot of designs for new models. In order to maintain the confidentiality of those designs, we tried to use OCR technology. However, it was not very effective with Symantec. If this solution could manage image control restrictions for OCR-captured images then it would be very helpful.

This solution is not very efficient at discovering unstructured data, which is something that needs to be improved. Unstructured data discovery is something that is being focused on in many areas including the automobile industry, finance, banking, and elsewhere. Both Symantec and McAfee failed in this regard. When the data is structured, Symantec was very efficient because we used to get the data from the business stakeholders and the data could be scanned to map the information. Where it is not available, as is the case with unstructured data, this product fails miserably.

This solution provides good information, but the reporting is not very efficient and needs to be improved. It will provide Excel reports and PDF reports, but it would be great if they supported the concept of Crystal Reports. Alternatively, if they had a dashboard or could showcase reports on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis, it would be very good. In short, we would like a more enhanced reporting capability.

This solution should provide functionality for the classification of email. It should be automated, with a bit of manual intervention. Specifically, before a user can send an email, the solution should make sure that the classification has been set, otherwise, it should not leave the intranet. It will force the users to classify the information and only then will the email be authorized to go through the network.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Symantec Email for almost two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was easy to scale in both Windows and Linux environments. We did not try Mac devices, but for us, scalability was good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have reached out to technical support for a couple of issues, such as when we were trying to implement OCR technology. They did give us solutions, but unfortunately, they were not very effective.

With respect to the inbuilt capabilities, the support is pretty good. However, when trying something new, as expected we encountered some initial failures and they were not able to assist us with these.

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

We did not use other messaging security software prior to this solution.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to set up the entire security suite. There were no constraints, which made it an easy installation for us.

The deployment was completed in two phases. We first had a week-long trial run on a small LAN segment to see how efficiently it would work. Once the trial run was successfully completed, it took two weeks for full implementation across the network.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, we sought support from a consultant because we had the entire Symantec security suite, and we were not well versed enough in DLP technology. We needed someone with a certain level of assurance in order to implement the complete solution, which included email security.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated McAfee and it was also unable to rectify the problem with OCR images.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good solution, but ultimately I would like to see OCR capabilities, mail classification, and unstructured data discovery. If Symantec could incorporate all of this in the DLP solution then I believe it would be the leading product in the DLP market.

I would rate this solution a seven 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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