If you or your company has decided to protect your software, you will probably be evaluating hardware-based security solutions, commonly called "dongles." What should you look for in a software security product? By what set of standards should you compare different products?
When choosing a software security solution, there are many factors to consider, aside from the most obvious issue of software piracy. Your key should ensure compliance with the software license. It should be transparent to the user. It should be compatible with other network devices and device drivers. Finally, the key should provide you with the right security features for your software and market.
If you have begun the evaluation process, we recommend that you ask your potential dongle vendors to provide you with an independent third-party comparative analysis of their products, which measures the products based on the standards below:
* Security: measure the effectiveness of the security dongles in tests against software piracy, as well as tests of network keys for managing and controlling software license compliance.
* Ease of use: compare the ease of installation, configuration, and use of each security application module when used with a corresponding security key product.
* Compatibility: Check whether the drivers for the security dongles are qualified and signed by Microsoft. This ensures a positive end-user experience.
* Network support: assess the functionality, features and ease of use of each security application module when used in a network environment, including license management and control functions for network security keys.
* Versatility: test the standalone and network security key's flexibility and features for supporting a variety of environments, platforms and networks, including client and API types, OS platforms and supported network protocols. Check for other form factors such as USB and PC-Card solutions, as well as cross-platform solutions.
* Licensing capabilities: check that the security key supports your and your customers' growing demand for convenient software distribution options and remote upgrading capabilities.
* Separation of protection from licensing: This is based upon the idea of protecting once to deliver many. It enables you to implement strong software security once, and then allow product management the flexibility to implement the licensing models they want, as often as they want, without requiring R&D's continued involvement.
Tags: Computer piracy Computers