IBM-ISS Proventia Desktop
Strengths: Very solid virus and spyware protection with built-in IPS and firewall
Weaknesses: Difficult to manage, costly
Verdict: A good product hampered by a cluttered management console. If you have the patience and use other pieces of the Proventia suite, don't count it out
Proventia Desktop focuses on two areas, the first being protection from spyware. It analyses network downloads to prevent the spread of new spyware and blocks existing spyware from running by stopping unauthorised application communication outside the desktop. The second area of focus is stopping worms, viruses and hackers via its intrusion prevention system, which comes equipped with more than 160 built-in rules right out of the box.
This product is part of the much larger Proventia line of products and is managed by the IBM-ISS universal console known as SiteProtector. We found this console very awkward to use. SiteProtector is designed to control many processes. Because of its functionality, there are many added controls and features, which makes the console, as a whole, feel cluttered and difficult to navigate. We have had problems with SiteProtector before and wish IBM-ISS would address its lack of user-friendliness.
We found anti-virus to be the primary focus of this product. It contains features such as a virus prevention system, application protection. It also has the ability for Proventia Desktop to analyse systems and make sure AV software is up to date. Other than the automatic updating of software, there was very little in the way of the protection performance of this system. Proventia is much like an IPS with built-in spyware, virus protection and a firewall.
The documentation consists of two main PDF manuals, the administration and user guides, both well organised and easy to read. However, more visuals would have been helpful, especially given the difficult nature of navigating SiteProtector. There were a lot of step-by-step walkthroughs, but sometimes finding the first button is the hardest part.
IBM-ISS provides three levels of support for customers to purchase. All include 24/7 telephone and online incident support and escalation processes, ISS X-Force database and knowledge base access, security alerts, product updates and upgrades.
We found this product to be a slightly below average value for money. While it provides some strong protection against viruses and spyware, it is difficult to manage and has a slightly high price for what it offers.