F-Secure Elements Endpoint Protection review: A strong business-oriented security solution
Cloud management, excellent protection and great mobile support, all for an affordable price
It turns out that Sweden isn't the only Nordic nation with a talent for efficiently packing a lot of functionality into a small space. That's proven by Finnish cybersecurity vendor F-Secure: its web-based portal lets you manage not just the Endpoint Protection package but the company’s entire portfolio of business security products. So if you’re already using an F-Secure cloud service – or if you plan to in the future – it could help you simplify administration.
We found the cloud side of things easy to set up. Once we’d created a central management account, we simply had to enter our Elements Endpoint Protection (EEP) subscription details, after which the service immediately appeared in the console. Other F-Secure services are enabled in the same manner, and can be accessed from the portal’s upper right menu button.
EEP offers protection for a good spread of endpoint types. Windows and Mac workstations are covered, as well as Windows, Linux and Citrix servers, plus iOS and Android mobile devices. Malware protection is provided on all of these platforms, with F-Secure’s software analysing file contents, monitoring system change attempts and keeping an eye on program behaviour. EEP also offers patch management, web content security and removable device controls.
For the broadest possible security, you can move up to an EEP Premium subscription; this increases the per-device cost to £32 exc VAT, but adds application controls and dedicated ransomware protection.
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The EEP console dashboard presents colour-coded charts for computers, patches and mobiles so you can instantly see your protection status. A table below lists any alerts and errors, with a link next to each that takes you to the relevant page for more detail. You can switch to the devices page for an overview of protected machines – and if one of your systems is infected, you can isolate it with a click, blocking all network access so it can’t do any harm. Once the system has been disinfected you can send an unblock command to remotely restore access.
This is also where you can invite users to install the EEP agent. Messages are sent by email, and include an agent download link for the appropriate platform; on Windows and macOS this takes around five minutes to install and connect to the EEP portal. On Android and iOS, users simply need to download the Android or iOS apps and log in using the pre-generated credentials in their email.
After installation, all client machines are set up with a default protection profile, which enables malware scanning, automatic quarantine actions and browsing protection. For tailor-made protection, you can create your own profiles, which define real-time scanning options, permit users to run manual scans, determine when automatic updates occur and schedule regular system scans. Web protection options include reputation-based web page scanning, content control with a list of 32 URL categories you can block or allow, and an optional browser plug-in that shows link reputations next to search results.
For mobile devices, profiles can also enable the F-Secure VPN service. There’s nothing users need to do to enable this: once the app is loaded, it creates a VPN connection to the nearest concentrator and applies the profile’s browsing controls. Protection against malicious websites and tracking cookies is included, too.
As for reporting, tabs in the portal show protection status, security events and infections. One-click menus at the top of each category send summary reports to administrators, and you can choose to issue email alerts to multiple users when infections are detected.
F-Secure Elements Endpoint Protection is a good choice for SMBs seeking easy protection: its cloud portal makes for simple management, and it’s easy to deploy a wide range of security services across all the device types you’re likely to be using.
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