Symantec Privileged Access Manager Review

It has proven to be a very stable solution, even when it is run as a virtual appliance


What is most valuable?

Password Management and Session Recording. The simplicity and ease that it is to be up and running out-of-the-box is very much appreciated.

The recording feature uses a proprietary format that is very light, even with high definition videos, allowing you to use very little hard drive space. This has proven very valuable when managing large amounts of sessions.

How has it helped my organization?

We are now able to record all technical support requests that require a remote control session, therefore accountability has risen reducing the amount of mistakes or errors.

Clients are also more confident that all activities are recorded and everyone is held accountable when asking for support being provided.

With the recently added feature that supports recording VNC sessions, we have been able to expand the session management to the IT personnel who prefer VNC for remote session management.

What needs improvement?

The support for other remote assistance tools would be excellent. Free included tools in Windows (Remote Assist) and Microsoft SCCM Configuration Manager (ConMgr Remote Control) allow companies to reduce the amount of RDP connections and expand the usage of the tools are frequently used by companies to provide technical support for remote assistance.

This could increase the amount of purchased licenses, with increasing growth of (remote) managed services (MSPs), and would also allow a company to demand that a provider use a tool such as CA PAM when providing remote assistance, in order to record evidence or increase accountability. Access to online training free of charge is also highly recommended.

For how long have I used the solution?

Over two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not in my experience. It has proven to be a very stable solution, even when it is run as a virtual appliance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not in my experience.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had a good experience because they have been able to resolve issues nine of 10 in a short period.

The cons are that you are rarely (if ever) able to talk to a technician when calling support. This is frustrating when the issues are critical or urgent.

This is much worse in out of office hours. At times, when the issues are complex, the resolution times has been longer than desired and the time in between contacts is also too long.

There is a lot of space to improve in this area.

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

No, I have looked at CyberArk, but never used it as a customer.

How was the initial setup?

Session management is pretty straightforward as is the password management. We were able to get it up and running in no time. It might be a bit complex to follow the flow of creating the devices, users, and single sign on using the password vault, so that process could be simplified for those getting started with the solution.

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

Can’t say much. The prices are not low, but one can ask for a discount. It’s not the cheapest PAM solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, CyberArk. We found it too complex and with more features than one would probably need.

What other advice do I have?

If looking for a solution with privileged session management, great recording features with an integrated password vault and Single Sign-On that is pretty straightforward to implement out-of-the-box and does not overwhelm you with unnecessary features, it the best way to go.

It has space for improving the user interface and remote connection tools, but surely this is something that should be in their roadmap.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

2.7 & 2.8
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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