Down, Dirty, And Honest.
February 09, 2019

Down, Dirty, And Honest.

Jasmine Martinez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

USM Appliance (On-Premises)

Overall Satisfaction with AlienVault USM

AlienVault is currently being used first and foremost to monitor vulnerabilities and audit assets/events received from within our network.

As the Chief AlienVault engineer within the company the product has had its ups and downs, And requires a good amount of knowledge with regards to Linux, and the many smaller components which make AlienVault what it is (e.g. rabbitmq, MySQL, openvas, ossec, NAGIOS, Ansible, NMAP, etc. etc.). To really get any worth beyond what AlienVault provides "out of the box", And you may find your head against a wall occasionally with support as they may be slightly inexperienced in some regards (but this can be said about any product if you support it long enough).

With that said, It excels in every single possible task you may throw at it as a security appliance, There really isn't much else like this SIEM that gives you a nice top-down view of what's going on within your network. Very good value if you're just using something simple like this for basic necessities such as raw log management, and event escalation.

Pros

  • Log management - Out of the box, Alienvault already comes with a ton of plugins for a lot of industry standard names (VMware, Cisco, Brocade, Microsoft... ) with automatic categorization.
  • Vulnerability Scanning - With a consistently updated threat-Intelligence database, this is invaluable to highlight some of the weaker points within your network. Maybe that newbie you hired left the default credentials? Maybe a new patch was pushed out for a piece of hardware or software you use that is a serious issue?
  • OTX - The Open Threat Exchange which AlienVault manages and updates is fairly consistent with making sure that outside of the updated directives events which are available to the appliance to correlate with the data you receive from the devices you are monitoring from within your network. For example, checking if an outbound firewall log has information on an asset communication with a known malicious server, or if you have files on that very asset or another asset which match hashed values showing that the server may have been potentially compromised.

Cons

  • Support - The support is the *WORST*!, They take a *VERY* long time to respond, and half the time they're just skimming over the issue instead of actually asking questions to be better informed!
  • Buggy Updates - I've had my fair share of issues with the USM Appliance that have either been through updates or oversights from AlienVault's end that have either left the appliance in a degraded or broken state. The most recent 5.6 Update left a lot of people hanging due to failed database upgrades. YOU WILL NEED LINUX KNOWLEDGE IF YOU PLAN TO TAME THIS BEAST.
  • Complexity - A lot of people start out with AlienVault and stare like a deer in headlights at the amount of drop-downs and different pages and menus available. While, Yes, AlienVault is a very technically complex package as it's based on many different working components that work with each other. A lot of this data can be more easily presented to the end user. And quite a bit of the documentation on their website is actually out-dated. But then again, managing a SIEM is a full-time job - you hire one person to do *Just That*.
Aha~
Some people merely adopted USM. I was born in it, MOLDED by It. Why, I didn't see the regular sysadmin work until I was ~2 years within the company AND BY THAT POINT IT WAS MERELY WORK!
If the receiving/managing engineer is well experienced or willing to learn, then the value AlienVault can provide is understated, it's a must. For a one-man shop, this also provides great value for being able to more accurately gather and assess what may be happening in your network.

Comments

  • Tami Andrews | TrustRadius Reviewer
    Thanks Jasmine for your feedback!

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