Proventia Network Scanner
Strengths: Highly customisable, powerful part of the Proventia suite
Weaknesses: Difficult to implement, not effective as a standalone vulnerability scanner
Verdict: If a vulnerability scanner or penetration tool is all you are looking for, keep looking. If you have the Proventia suite, this is a powerful and flexible addition and should be included in your plans
The Proventia Network Enterprise Scanner is part of a larger security management system and, as such, shows its best performance as part of that suite.
We tested the product outside of the Proventia suite and do not recommend this approach. The network scanner requires, as a minimum, Microsoft SQL Server and site protector to support it. If all you need is a vulnerability scanner, this is not your best bet.
Implementing Proventia is no trivial matter. However, it is a powerful system when properly deployed. The suite uses the ISS Site Protector as a console, centralised management and correlation dashboard.
We found that the use of a single product, such as the Network Enterprise Scanner, out of the context of other elements in the Proventia suite, does not allow the tool to reach its full potential.
The scanner is highly customisable, with significant policy granularity and both active and passive scanning. When used with the Proventia intrusion prevention system, the device enables blocking based on known vulnerabilities. The scanner performs automatic discovery of devices on the network and recognises virtually any device likely to be there.
We had difficulty getting the product to communicate properly with Site Protector, and we do not recommend this for trivial applications. Once the device is in place and configured, operation is much easier, but getting it to work initially requires a serious understanding of the product, Site Protector, SQL Server and your network in general.
Documentation consists of a quick-start card, which we found was not adequate to the job of installing the product. Other documentation is available online but, although it is extremely comprehensive, we found it somewhat cumbersome to use.
There is a customer support portal and phone support is also available. The value of the Proventia Network Enterprise Scanner is hard to judge. At around £5,000, the product itself is not expensive, but the requirement for MS SQL Server and Site Protector, with accompanying hardware, push up the price, as does support and, most especially, management. Again, in the context of the overall Proventia suite, this is a good buy. Alone, it is not.