Review: NetClarity Branch Auditor 5.0

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Review: NetClarity Branch Auditor 5.0

Last year we reviewed NetClarity’s Enterprise Auditor product and we liked it a lot. This year we looked at its little sibling, the Branch Auditor. We were amazed at the power of this little handful of an appliance.

Branch Auditor has virtually all of the capability of the big appliance with the added advantage that it can connect to the Auditor Enterprise for correlation with other Branch Auditors and the Enterprise Auditor itself. Thus, an enterprise full of vulnerability scanners can be managed and their outputs correlated from a single centralised console.

Set-up for Branch Auditor is a cakewalk. Plug in a monitor and keyboard and follow the configuration wizard. Once the product is configured you can access it from any web browser or through the Enterprise Auditor if you have it connected. Audits are easy to perform and there are several formats for reports. The user interface is clean and intuitive.

Like most of the products we tested, Branch Auditor is intended to support compliance testing. Specific formats that support PCI (payment card industry) testing are a standard part of the product as they are with most of the more comprehensive tools we looked at. The device also supports a range of customisable reports in addition to its large collection of standard formats. The product performed well, finding virtually all of our vulnerabilities. Its dashboard is clean, enabling fast identification of results.

We liked Enterprise Auditor’s documentation last year, but Branch Auditor has outdone that. This is a thick manual with everything you need to implement and support the device. We haven’t seen this commitment to documentation since the old days of real user guides. One of its strengths is the number of screen shots with examples of configurations, scan results, etc.

Phone and email support are standard and extended 24/7 phone support is available as an option. The product is not cheap, but we find that with its features, ease of use and excellent performance, Branch Auditor is an excellent value. An additional US$1,995 gets you a one-year subscription to vulnerability updates. At the time of testing we had well over 10,000 vulnerability patterns in the device. We use Enterprise Auditor in our lab and we have found that updates are frequent.

NetClarity Branch Auditor 5.0 has been rated Best Buy by SC Magazine.

For: Quick deployment, intuitive user interface, strong reporting, integration with Enterprise Auditor.
Against: None that we could find.
Verdict: In the scanner-only class, we rate this product a Best Buy for its powerful performance, ease of use and excellent documentation.

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