Biodata SPHINX 1.0
- By Chip Andrews
Biodata’s SPHINX 1.0 personal firewall is obviously targeted
toward the individual user, not the corporate network user. SPHINX
lacks any kind of networking infrastructure capabilities such as
NAT, DHCP, and VPN support, and instead mostly focuses on server-based
IP stack protection.
I found product installation smooth, with the resulting footprint
relatively small (4.75M). When I went to use SPHINX, the first thing
that struck me was the freakish user interface that reminded me
of the Bangles’ music video, “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
Then, just when I was getting used to SPHINX, it laid a riddle on
me: This Application Has Stopped Responding. Needless to say, I
knew the answer: End Now. The product failed on me several times
after that, and I would suggest that anyone considering SPHINX thoroughly
test it first.
Biodata’s SPHINX takes a wizard-like approach
to configuration. Does anyone else
see the word “parametrisation”?
Another gripe I have with SPHINX is that its configuration options,
though powerful, are quite complex in operation. There’s no
context-sensitive help to guide users to the proper settings and
the interface uses headings such as “Parametrisation”
and “Warning Politic” that can stymie even those with
high verbal SAT scores. If Biodata targets SPHINX toward the expert
market or simplifies it for the general user, the product shows
some real promise. But at present, SPHINX needs to undergo a few
more builds before I can give it a solid recommendation.
Chip Andrews, MCSE+I, MCDBA is a software security architect at (Clarus Corp.). Chip maintains the (sqlsecurity.com) Web site and speaks at security conferences on SQL Server security issues.