Profense 2 Web Application Firewall
Strengths: Top-level protection for a web server and web applications
Weaknesses: It is a software product, which can tax under-powered hardware
Verdict: A good product that fills a larger gap than most application-level firewalls
The Profense 2 Professional Application Web Firewall product is one of two software-based offerings submitted for the review. The Profense software includes a hardened OS and installs on most standard hardware. Profense turns a piece of general purpose hardware into a dedicated application-acceleration and security gateway. The software provides many functions, including automated application profiling, adaptive learning and positive and negative filtering for out-of-the-box protection.
The software functions through three engines to provide web server security. The beginning protection mechanism learns legitimate application requests for a web server application.
The second layer of protection provided by Profense is a web application firewall.
Profense provides protection for a web server against web application errors, such as the OWASP top ten vulnerabilities. It also supports and secures XML web services.
The product decodes (terminates) SSL session for the purpose of determining which traffic should be allowed to reach the target web server. Profense also includes web accelerator technology, which improves overall web server performance both by lowering the web and application server workload - optimising and reducing bandwidth usage - and also through the process of offloading SSL operations from web servers to the Profense system.
Due to the many complex features included in the Profense application, the hardware that supports the application needs to be as powerful as possible to maximise performance benefits and protection mechanisms.
The solution includes a series of PDF documents that cover common installation, configuration and operation of the software.
Profense includes a basic no-cost support option that is included in the first year price. The free support offers eight hours a day, five days a week, business-day support by phone, email and web, automated updates and all upgrades. Additional years of support are priced at £1,006.
The list price of the Armorlogic offering is £3,975, which places it at the higher middle end of products tested.