Strengths: dotDefender fills a need
Weaknesses: Many products provide this service and more
Verdict: A good idea but poorly executed. The product is short on features and is overpriced for the market
The offering from Applicure is a completely unique one, which protects IIS or Apache-based web servers running on a Microsoft Windows machine. While dotDefender has these unique characteristics, many other offerings under review give the protection offered by dotDefender and more.
DotDefender is a software-based web application firewall, which provides protection against attacks by using three types of filters. They are pattern recognition, session protect and signature knowledgebase.
Pattern recognition automatically detects and blocks attempts to hack a website. It includes SQL injection and cross-site scripting, which represent the top two security vulnerabilities in the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top ten.
The session protection security engine focuses on the user session level.
Signature knowledgebase uses signatures to detect requests from known malicious sources, such as hackers and spammers. It identifies bad user agents and prevents hacking tools from gathering information about vulnerabilities in an application.
DotDefender is feature-rich and includes logging and alerting capabilities. Unlike some of the other application firewalls, it requires almost the entire configuration to be done manually and changed each time.
The installation process could not be easier. It is a simple exe installer, which then opens an mmc session for licensing and configuring the application.
Documentation is in PDF form. It is well written and easy to understand, but the website offers little to no help.
Standard support and maintenance includes telephone and email support, bug fixes, updates, live updates and new releases.
The first year is included in the price of a perpetual licence. For the second year there is an annual fee of 18 per cent of the list price. Maintenance and support are included in the price of an annual subscription. Support 24/7 is available at 25 per cent of the list price.
DotDefender costs £3,995 for a perpetual licence, which places it at the low end of the medium price range.