SaaSID Cloud Application Manager review
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is putting many businesses in a real dilemma – they can’t afford to ignore its productivity benefits, but have grave concerns about security.
UK start-up SaaSID has a novel approach to this problem: its Cloud Application Manager (CAM) uses a lightweight software agent that plugs into the user’s browser. It also provides freely available software for iOS devices.
Agent deployment is swift and simple: it can be pushed silently to end points, or emailed as a link to users. For testing purposes, we focused on Google Chrome and had the CAM extension loaded in seconds.
The CAM admin portal is well designed and easy to use. We added our users and groups manually, but most businesses will want to use CAM’s support for Active Directory synchronisation via LDAP. Limited administrative rights can be assigned to selected users, allowing some admin functions to be delegated. Six different options are provided, and include application, audit and user management.
From the System menu, you have two options for controlling user logins. The In-line Login forces users to authenticate with CAM only if they want to access controlled web apps. This allows them to go to other websites without authenticating, but it means CAM can’t audit all their web activity.
Forced Login, on the other hand, redirects users to the CAM portal the moment they load a web browser. They aren’t allowed to visit any website until they’ve been authenticated, and CAM can audit all their web access.
The process of application enrolment is implemented brilliantly. As an administrator, you visit the site hosting the web app you want to control and navigate to its standard login page. You then click the CAM cloud icon and choose the Application Admin option. It will display an enrolment page in the lower-right corner; here you can edit the name of the web app, the domain and the landing page details, assign an application category, and enable authentication. Next, you click on the username box in the web page and select Choose in the CAM window. This enters the relevant details for you and highlights the box in red. Do the same for the password box and you’re done. Moving to the admin portal shows the new app is ready and waiting to be controlled. By default, all user and group access is blocked – you can toggle this on and off.
Enabling authentication controls for a web app activates SSO enrolment. The user enters their normal credentials at the next login, after which CAM changes them and stores them securely in the cloud. When the user next selects the web app from their CAM portal, all login details are handled transparently.
This solves two problems: users no longer know their login details, so they can’t write them down or circumvent CAM; and they can’t access web apps or sites from an unprotected device.
Built-in data-leakage controls allow you to decide what web page components or fields are presented to the user. This makes it possible to disable functions, such as data export, and block specific financial data from being shown in Salesforce, while Facebook access can be controlled down to each individual function.
CAM Analytics provides customisable pages with detailed information about individual web apps and all user activities. Speedometer dials and graphs keep you in the loop on web app usage, and you can also monitor non-productive web access.
From here, you can monitor all website access per user, check on Salesforce activities, such as failed or good logins and exported reports, and drill down into each application report for more detailed information.
It all amounts to a compelling package. Cloud Application Manager is a sophisticated means of controlling web-app usage, and it’s capable of extending strict security policies to BYOD users. Deployment is remarkably simple, the management portal is well designed and, most appealingly of all, it’s an affordable solution for SMBs.
|Software subcategory||Internet security|