Digital Defense Frontline Vulnerability Manager
Strengths: If vulnerability management gets any easier we won’t need vulnerability specialists. In fact, for organisations without any such experts this is just the ticket. Don’t count out larger organisations as targets for Frontline. Even the best-equipped and staffed organisations can benefit by picking up a bit of time through the efficiencies Frontline offers.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: This one demands your attention. At a very reasonable price point, we make this our Best Buy this month.
About a year ago we took a very deep dive into this tool and it is gratifying to see that Digital Defense has taken many of our findings to heart. When it comes to simple, this product takes the cake. We were up and running in under five minutes and our first scan came in very quickly.
This is a cloud-based tool running as SaaS. If you need internal scanning you will need the internal scanning appliance as well. On top of the product you can contract additional support up to and including a vulnerability analyst assigned to you. The analyst, called a PSA (personal security analyst) can provide all aspects of vulnerability management including remediation.
The tool can identify over 1,500 different operating environments and their variants but, in the event that a particular one is not identified, Digital Defense engineers will analyse it and add it to the collection.
We installed the RNA (Reconnaissance Network Appliance) on our virtual system. We downloaded it from Digital Defense as an OVA file and got started with the setup process. The first step was to establish communications with the vendor. We were assigned an engineer who walked us through the process a step at a time, as well as gaining a username and password to get into the portal site. Inside of a few minutes we had ensured that our RNA could talk to the company.
We reported our external IP and started a scan. A few minutes later we had the results. Of course, this is a lab environment with a small footprint so, clearly, your scans will take longer based on the size of your enterprise, but, comparing to the speed of other scanners, we found Frontline to be very competitive in its performance.
The user interface is simplicity itself. Everything that you need is clear and concise without a lot of poking around and hunting for information. As well, everything that you will need for remediation is handy so your entire vulnerability management program is at your fingertips.
We were provided with a one-page getting-started guide but, in addition, we received the URL for the help documentation on the web. This documentation included a getting-started guide, as well as individual guides for scanning, reporting, active view, administration and integration. Clicking into the documents revealed a set of well-thought-out docs that cover all of the bases in a simple, easy to navigate manner. This was another pleasant surprise given our recent experiences with documentation.
Frontline uses a concept called a security GPA that we like. This is an evaluation that takes into account the severity of vulnerabilities and the weighting of assets. Each asset is graded on an A-F scale, exactly as you would expect in school, and those individual grades are combined into an average grade. The grades are not assigned randomly. For example, an individual weighted asset gets a grade of B if it has only one or more low level vulnerabilities. To get a B overall, the weighted average of all of your individual grades is between 2.68 and 3.00. This is something that, first, management can track easily and, second, you can track for determining the efficacy of your remediation process.
If vulnerability management gets any easier we won't need vulnerability specialists. In fact, for organisations without any such experts this is just the ticket. Don't count out larger organisations as targets for Frontline. Even the best-equipped and staffed organisations can benefit by picking up a bit of time through the efficiencies Frontline offers.