AlienVault OSSIM

14 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 101

Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection

4 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

AlienVault OSSIM

The most obvious scenario in which OSSIM is well suited is in a single office/home office (SOHO) or small business, in which budget is reduced but asset discovery and vulnerability management are greatly needed and appreciated. OSSIM is lightweight and free, so the real challenge to face is to hire or assign an administrator to manage and operate it, instead of any investment on an expensive appliance. Also, as resellers, promoting usage of OSSIM to customers charging for professional services for installation, administration, and maintenance (remember that OSSIM doesn't have official support from AlienVault) is a great asset for the organization.
Jose Quintero profile photo

Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection

I think threat prevention on a certain level could be used in all Palo Alto deployments (even if just alerting without blocking).
Alex Waitkus, CISSP-ISSAP, OSCP profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

AlienVault OSSIM
8.2
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Centralized event and log data collection
AlienVault OSSIM
8.3
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Correlation
AlienVault OSSIM
8.0
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Event and log normalization
AlienVault OSSIM
8.0
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Deployment flexibility
AlienVault OSSIM
8.7
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Integration with Identity and Access Management Tools
AlienVault OSSIM
7.5
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Custom dashboards and views
AlienVault OSSIM
8.0
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection
Host and network-based intrusion detection
AlienVault OSSIM
8.7
Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection

Pros

  • Asset discovery. Once installed in a centric, network-accessible server, OSSIM can poll all your endpoints with common protocols (SSH, SNMP, WMI) to detect and discover site-wide assets to monitor. You only need to group them by your own criteria once added to the product.
  • SIEM Event Correlation. You can define quite complex correlation rules to detect possible suspicious or malicious actions or attempts in your network, in order to categorize them as real threats or as false positives, thus streamlining your risk assessment and management.
  • Ease of installation. The entire AlienVault OSSIM is self-contained in an ISO file, which can be burned into a DVD or just mounted in your server of choice (physical or virtual) for deployment. The installation process is automated and quote verbosed, with options for static IP, email messaging and others.
  • Ease of access. Being AlienVault OSSIM a self-contained appliance, it can be accessed via web by any device that supports a web browser, being that desktops, workstation, mobile devices, etc. The OSSIM dashboard and other features are automatically rearranged to adapt to the particular device being in use.
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  • The threat engine has constant updates for important threats.
  • Wildfire helps supplement the Threat engine to help protect against 0 day threats.
  • The way the threat engine can be added at different levels to different zones and policies helps to ensure business essential traffic can have policies that are tuned to ensure traffic will flow.
Alex Waitkus, CISSP-ISSAP, OSCP profile photo

Cons

  • OSSIM, being an open source solution, lacks log management (a treat that the full USM has). Perhaps a feature to include a lightweight version inside the SIEM Correlation engine can be appreciated.
  • The appliance also lacks support for Cloud-based servers and apps. This feature is also present in USM, so it's unlikely this will appear in OSSIM, but I'd suggest also a reduced version of it included in this appliance.
  • More integration with third-party solutions such as BMC Remedy and ServiceNow, although this can be emulated through email alerts, as most ITSM solutions have the ability of converting incoming email messages into tickets.
Jose Quintero profile photo
  • Visibility into signatures and how they function/what triggers them would be very beneficial.
  • Lacking customizability compared to other tools.
  • Inability to write custom signatures easily and for traffic with small (less than 8 bit) signatures.
Alex Waitkus, CISSP-ISSAP, OSCP profile photo

Usability

AlienVault OSSIM8.0
Based on 1 answer
AlienVault OSSIM is far easy to use and manage - provided you know what you're doing. As any SIEM application, there is some background knowledge required in order to take advantage of the product's functionalities, such as the log correlation and analysis. Other than that, the application is quite usable and robust.
Jose Quintero profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

AlienVault OSSIM has the upper ante in initial deployment price, being that it's open source. Also, with perhaps the exception of SolarWinds, it has a lower optimal requirements for onsite deployment, hence your OPEX won't be hit very hard by investing in new hardware to suit the appliance. The correlation engine is somewhat more robust that their counterparts in LogRhythm and SolarWinds, and the IDS (both NIDS and HIDS) are more reliable as well in terms of results. Finally, although Tenable SecurityCenter is more robust in dashboards, alerts and reports, it comes short in front of OSSIM in terms of real-time IDS and SIEM correlation.
Jose Quintero profile photo
It is comparable but not as robust as other stand alone IPS/IDS.
Alex Waitkus, CISSP-ISSAP, OSCP profile photo

Return on Investment

  • The ROI of OSSIM itself is, obviously, immediate, being that it's a free, open-source product. However, you must take into account other inherent investments to cover up for the lack of official support, such as certified agents or consultants that take care of the management and maintenance of the product once in production.
  • On the other hand, the potential loss of information and interruption of operativity due to malware and other threats is really unmeasurable. The implicit savings in OSSIM as a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) are really the major positive impact on your organization's revenue.
  • Finally, and from a reseller's point of view, reselling OSSIM has the big plus of being a professional services-only asset, given that the appliance itself is free of charge. The only thing to consider is the initial investment in team members with the required capacitation and knowledge to address such professional services to potential customers.
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  • New deployment hasn't been fully calculated yet.
  • With the addition of Panorama and central logging, event investigation has become more streamlined.
Alex Waitkus, CISSP-ISSAP, OSCP profile photo

Pricing Details

AlienVault OSSIM

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Palo Alto Networks Threat Protection

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details