Hey Security Practitioners! Here is the perfect free tool to install for performing a risk analysis on your network!
BART HUNTER | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 04, 2019

Hey Security Practitioners! Here is the perfect free tool to install for performing a risk analysis on your network!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Spiceworks

I use it to scan our entire network infrastructure. I use it primarily as a tool to inform me of our security posture. It identified gaps such as workstations without antivirus installed and even how many workstations running a particular operating system is on our network. This tool is very cost efficient (free to be exact) that a security practitioner can use to perform risk analysis. I highly recommend this for security administrators who have a limited budget but still need an effective tool to help in identifying security vulnerabilities on their network.
  • Identify workstations with running various operating systems on your network.
  • Identify workstations running various anti-virus programs on your network.
  • Identify workstations and servers running low on storage capacity.
  • Provide dashboards to easily view the current state of your network.
  • Spiceworks uses a lot of system resources and does need room for improvement in this area on Windows systems. Sometimes it can hang and a system reboot will clear up the issue.
  • Spiceworks should be able to be installed on non-Windows systems such as Linux, Apple MAC OS, or other flavors of unix. So it should have a Linux install available for servers running this OS.
  • Running Spiceworks on a workstation along with other programs is not recommended. I would advise installing it on a dedicated server.
  • Considering that we have a limited budget and resources for security tools, Spiceworks has had a positive ROI in our department because we can use it to perform risk analysis on our network without the overhead cost of purchasing a similar tool to perform this function.
  • The reporting feature of Spiceworks is great. You can create your own reports based on the criteria you want on your network, such as searching for workstations that run a particular operating system or systems running an outdated antivirus program.
  • The real-time monitoring is an important feature. I do not have to initiate a scan of the network after I have setup Spiceworks to scan a subnet. It will automatically scan the network and identify new systems being attached to your network.
I searched for other free network scanners on the web, but they could not compare to what I got with Spiceworks. Other free scanners I found were:
1. Limited in the number of devices it could scan on your network. This would not work for us.
2. Provide a trial period for their scanners. This would not work because we needed something permanent with all the features working.
3. Were difficult to install. You needed a high level of linux/unix experience to get their solution to work.
4. Required a small agent installation on every device you wanted to scan. This was out of the question since we couldn't touch every desktop to install their agent.
Because Spiceworks is an easy install, I did not have to reach out to support at all. Any time I need assistance or a question I would just browse their website and get the answers I needed. For instance, the problem with system resources is available on their website and instructions on how to resolve the issue.

Do you think Spiceworks delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Spiceworks's feature set?

Yes

Did Spiceworks live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Spiceworks go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Spiceworks again?

Yes

Impulse SafeConnect, Nessus, Cisco Firepower NGFW (formerly Sourcefire)
Spiceworks is well suited for Information Technology departments who have a limited budget. The free version of this software is one of the best tools to help a security practitioner perform a risk analysis on their network. Other similar tools that are free are limited in the IP ranges that they can scan, but not Spiceworks. I can scan several subnets with this tool. Another cool feature is that I don't have to visit each workstation on our network to obtain information about it. Spiceworks gives me all the information I need right at my own desktop. Spiceworks is well suited for small IT shops and small security departments. Other tools of this capability will cost you thousands.

Spiceworks Feature Ratings

Organize and prioritize service tickets
8
Expert directory
10
ITSM collaboration and documentation
8
Ticket creation and submission
8
Ticket response
8
External knowledge base
10
Internal knowledge base
9
Customer portal
7
IVR
Not Rated
Social integration
8
Email support
8
Help Desk CRM integration
8

Using Spiceworks

1 - I use it in the information technology department here on my job. I am responsible for cybersecurity at my institution and Spiceworks is a great tool for performing risk analysis on our network. As a security practitioner, we are under staffed and we have a limited budget. Spiceworks is a great complement to the tasks of knowing what is on your network. If you don't know what is on your network, how can you protect it?
1 - Currently, I am the only person in my organization who is supporting Spiceworks. I have over 25 years working in information technology, but I believe any computer professional who understands Windows operating systems and software installation could easily use Spiceworks. This tool would easily help any IT shop, large or small. It would especially be usefull for security practitioners who need a tool to perform risk analysis so that they can protect what is on their network.
  • Risk Analysis tool
  • Cost efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Easy reporting features
  • Easy to install and get up and running.
  • I never heard about Spiceworks being used as a security risk analysis tool, but I quickly recognized it and am glad that I did.
  • I like the fact that I can create custom reports that I can show my supervisor.
  • The fact that the tool is free is a great plus. I know that it has saved our department $$$ because we don't have to pay for a similar product along with subscription fees.
  • Spiceworks can identify workstations and servers that are running low on disk drive capacity. We could eventually use it as a means of identifying systems that need to be upgraded.
  • We could also use Spiceworks to identify outdated applications which could require an upgrade.
Spiceworks is a free tool, so there would be no hesitation if we are required to upgrade it. We have installed Spiceworks on a dedicated server with more than enough resources to get the most from this tool, so we will have this running in our department for years to come.

Evaluating Spiceworks and Competitors

Yes - Before Spiceworks, we had a manual process of performing a security risk analysis. We used an Excel spreadsheet and and had to record what we had on our network. This proved to be next to impossible since we have many subnets and hundreds of computers on our network. We basically didn't know what we had on our network until we installed Spiceworks. Now we are able to make better decisions on what needs to be upgraded in terms of workstation that are obsolete, resulting in a more secure environment.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
Price was the most important feature, after that would be product usability. We have a limited budget for security tools and we have limited personnel with security experience, so we were tasked to find a free tool with great usability. That was a hard task because you can't find many applications that would fit that bill, but fortunately, Spiceworks did fit that bill and we are glad for it.
Well, if I had to do it all over again, I would make sure that the product I was evaluating could be installed on a dedicated server to test and not on my workstation. Because I enjoyed the functionality of Spiceworks when I initially installed it on my workstation, it was using a lot of my system resources because I use my system for other tasks. I should have installed it the first time to a dedicated server like its on now.

Spiceworks Implementation

Be sure to allocate a dedicated server for Spiceworks if you plan on keeping it running in your environment. I do recommend a Windows Server installation with more than 500GB of available space and more than 12GB of RAM for your installation. This should be more than sufficient to get you up and running with the product.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - When I initially installed Spiceworks, it was on my personal workstation. After getting used to working with the application, I discovered that it needed to run on a dedicated server instead of my workstation. I was able to coordinate with our server administrator to install Microsoft virtual server with dedicated CPU and RAM resources so that Spiceworks could run successfully. Once the server was setup, I reinstalled Spiceworks and it has worked for us ever since.
  • I had to backup my existing Spiceworks installation from my workstation and install it on the dedicated server we setup for it.
  • No other issues came up once we ported the installation to the dedicated server.

Using Spiceworks

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Installation is very easy to get the system up and operational within an hour!
  • Scanning your network is a breeze with this tool.
  • Dashboards are great so you can visually view your network.
  • You really should install this on a system dedicated to Spiceworks only, preferably on its own server.
  • I would recommend a system running 16GB of RAM or more.
  • You may have to tweek the report functions to create the output you want to see.
1. Its free.
2. Its easy to install.
3. You can have it up and running in under 1-hour.
4. You get dashboards that are easy to read so you know the state of your network.
5. You can create your own reports and not just the ones already installed.
6. Excellent tool for network administrators and security practitioners.
7. Did I mention that its free?