Review: DefensePro, Version 3.10

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Review: DefensePro, Version 3.10

The RadWare DefensePro is an appliance-based product that requires the RadWare InSite appliance for configuration and management. Together these two products are feature-rich and offer the most comprehensive functionality we’ve found.

However, without the two products together, the DefensePro is quite limited in its analysis capability.

We found this product extremely difficult to set up and use. We finally were forced to spend well over an hour on the phone with the manufacturer in Israel going through the configuration in detail. We believe that once the product is configured it is relatively easy to use, but the configuration is difficult for several reasons.

First, the products both must be set up initially using a console device over an RS232 port. In some cases, we found that making an error meant starting over from a reboot.

Second, the two devices are finicky about connecting to each other. We had set up the management ports through a hub, but the devices did not work correctly until we replaced the hub with a switch.

However, on the plus side, adding new policies is simple and the choices are comprehensive.

Performance is solid and the product captured almost all our scan, probe and penetration events smoothly and cleanly. Reporting is somewhat limited, consisting of listings or graphs that can be pie charts, bar graphs or line graphs. The screen requires refreshing in order to see new data. We would have preferred near real-time updates of the report display.

Documentation is limited, not well organised and not complete. The user guides give no examples, making initial configuration difficult. However, there is a separate manual that consists largely of scenarios and that is useful. Had the documentation been stronger, we would have had much less trouble with deployment.

Support is available at several levels as an extra cost option. However, without a customer password details about the support offerings — some of which are location dependent — are mostly unavailable.

This is a relatively expensive product given that the DefensePro starts at US$12,500 and the InSite appliance is an extra cost item (US$2,000 for software-only version or US$10,000 for the appliance).

For: Solid protection and a lot of flexibility in policy development.
Against: Very difficult to implement, documentation could be better organized and total cost of ownership is at the high end.
Verdict: This is a solid performer, but it is difficult to set up.

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