PDA Secure Enterprise

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-07-29 Print this article Print

PDA Secure Enterprise

Trust Digitals PDA Secure Enterprise bears a basic resemblance to PDA Defense in name and functionality but sets itself apart in its administration tools. Trust Digitals policy editor and server duo enable administrators to be more aggressive in the maintenance of their PDA security policies.

The client software for PDA Secure comes in versions for Palm OS and Pocket PC devices and is priced beginning at $79 per seat, with volume discounts available. The PDA Secure policy editor and server cost an additional $5,000.

Upon setting up PDA Secure for the Palm OS platform, we could select three passwords: a global password for controlling access to the device, a local password for controlling access to specific handheld applications and a wipe password. The wipe password, if entered where a global or local password is called for, will clear the devices memory, as with PDA Defenses bit-wipe feature.

The Pocket PC version of PDA Secure works differently. It does not allow users to encrypt individual databases or applications. Rather, it creates a secure folder, which in tests we could encrypt with one of six different 128-bit encryption schemes.

In addition, we could not encrypt data on storage cards with PDA Secure, as we could with PDA Defense. Trust Digital markets a separate product, called SecureCard, that handles this sort of encryption.

However, what the Pocket PC version of PDA Secure lacks in encryption granularity, it makes up for in the close control it grants administrators over the ways a device under their care may be used.

As with PDA Defense, we could set our test device to wipe its RAM after a specific number of incorrect password attempts. We could also choose instead to lock the device, pending administrator intervention.

Administrators can disable infrared port and multimedia record and playback functionality on a Pocket PC, as well as disallow synchronization without entering an administrative password. This synchronization control is an advantage over PDA Defense, which would not be able to prevent an employee from syncing sensitive data from his or her handheld device to a home computer.

PDA Secure also allows administrators to restrict the times and dates during which users may access their Pocket PCs. (See PDASecure Settings.) As with PDA Defense, we could opt to lock or wipe a device after a given number of days without a synchronization, a capability that takes on added importance when paired with the PDA Secure policy editor and server software.

With PDA Secures policy administration application, we could configure all the password, encryption and access control settings on the devices we tested, and we found it easy to add users to administer by accessing lists of users on our Windows domain.

We could create groups of users and apply identical settings across these groups. In addition, PDA Secure enables administrators to install software on the devices under their care, and the policy and server software can be set to keep track of log-in attempts, infrared send and receive operations, and application usage.

Technical Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com.

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel