NetClarity Branch Auditor 5.0
Strengths: Quick and easy deployment, intuitive user interface, strong reporting, good integration with Enterprise Auditor
Weaknesses: None that we could find during our test
Verdict: In the scanner-only class, we rate this product a Best Buy for its powerful performance, ease of use and excellent documentation, which make the Branch Auditor stand out
Last year we reviewed NetClarity's Enterprise Auditor product and we liked it a lot. This time we looked at its little brother, the Branch Auditor. We were amazed at the power of this handful of an appliance.
Branch Auditor has virtually all the capability of the bigger device, with the added advantage that it can connect to the Auditor Enterprise for correlation with other Branch Auditors and the Enterprise Auditor itself. Thus, an enterprise full of vulnerability scanners can be managed and their outputs correlated from a single centralised console.
Set-up for Branch Auditor couldn't be easier. Plug in a monitor and keyboard and follow the configuration wizard. Once the product is configured, you can access it from any web browser or through the Enterprise Auditor if you have connected it. Audits are easy to perform and there are several formats for reports. The user interface is clean and intuitive.
Like most of the products we tested, Branch Auditor is intended to support compliance testing. Specific formats that support PCI testing are a standard part of the product. The device also supports a range of customisable reports, in addition to its large collection of standard formats. The product performed well, finding virtually all of our vulnerabilities. Its dashboard is clean, allowing fast identification of results.
We liked NetClarity's documentation last year, but Branch Auditor has outdone that. This is a thick book with everything you need to implement and support the device. We haven't seen this commitment to documentation since the old days of real user guides. One of the manual's strengths is the number of screen shots with examples of configurations, scan results etc.
Phone and email support are standard and extended 24/7 phone support is available. The product is not cheap, but with its features, ease of use and excellent performance, Branch Auditor offers great value for money. An additional fee of around £1,000 gets you a one-year subscription to vulnerability updates. At the time of testing we had more than 10,000 vulnerability patterns in the device. We use Enterprise Auditor in our lab and we have found that updates are frequent.