Aqua Security Review

Integrated with our existing platform, providing visibility into container image vulnerabilities and access control


What is our primary use case?

We used Aqua Security to address our container security concerns since we were using Docker in production. There was a clear blind spot that needed to be addressed and Aqua Security was able to fill that gap by providing visibility into the container images and the runtime aspect of our container platform.

How has it helped my organization?

Based on the rollout, we were able to gain pretty fast visibility into what was going on in our environment and integrate with existing automation and logging solutions we had in place. We were able to create detections and integrate as well with our existing security infra.

Previously, we had no visibility into the inner platform that was being operated. We didn't know the vulnerabilities the container images introduced, we didn't know how they were behaving at runtime. We were not able to restrict things as far as access goes, as far as the amount of risk we wanted to take with containers. Aqua Security allowed us to gain visibility into the vulnerabilities that were present in the container images, that were being rolled out - the amount of risk that we were introducing to the platform - and provided us a look into the container environment by introducing access control mechanisms. In addition, when it came to runtime-level policies, we could restrict container access to resources in our environment, such as network-level or other application-level access.

We were able to define policies around containers so we could enforce our rules and restrictions to provide a more secure environment.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature was the ability to integrate with the existing platform.

There were two other aspects to it, the visibility that it provided to us and the enforcement. Once we were able to see what was going on in our platform, through Aqua Security's enforcement policies, we were able to define the constraints or the limits to secure the environment in a better way.

What needs improvement?

Since we were able to work with them closely and provide suggestions to them, and they would take action right away, we didn't have much else for them to improve on. 

However, perhaps the network visibility side could be improved, although I think they've taken action on that, based on the latest releases. They might have already improved the process on the network visibility aspect.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues regarding stability. The only problem was the network monitoring side and it wasn't really a primary goal for us. We had other mechanisms to gain network visibility, so that wasn't an issue that blocked us at any point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any problems with scalability. Their architecture provided the means to scale as the enterprise grew, so we were actually expanding the rollout with Aqua Security. The way they architected it, you could actually have a single command-and-control center and have multiple gateways into various environments that rolled up to the command center. That way, even if you had thousands of environments, you could just segment them up and manage them individually through a central location, rather than having a huge blob of things that wouldn't scale properly. The federated, distributed approach they provided let us scale throughout the enterprise.

How are customer service and technical support?

One of the great aspects of Aqua Security was their technical support. They understood the issues we were reporting and they were able to take action right away. Mostly, it was not that things that were breaking, it was more things that we needed for our environment specifically. They were able to understand and take action and get something deployed within a week, which was something we hadn't seen in a lot of vendors in quite a while.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We weren't using any solution before that was providing us with visibility into our container platforms. We looked at other solutions out there and, based on various aspects, including customer service and technical support, we picked Aqua Security. The technical support and customer service aspects were what led us to pick Aqua Security over the competitors.

How was the initial setup?

We were able to deploy, test, and roll it out in a short amount of time. The Aqua Security team was really supportive and were able to address our unique needs right away. They were able to address certain issues that showed up as bugs in their code but they were resolved really fast. They had really great customer service.

The setup was straightforward compared to their competitors, whose setup failed. The Aqua Security setup went smoothly and we were surprised that it actually went off without any issues. The installation instructions they had provided were straightforward and we didn't require much assistance for the initial rollout. The way they packaged it, it was straightforward to install and manage at the same time. It wasn't complex at all.

What was our ROI?

I'm not sure if I can place any numeric values on ROI but, considering that we went from zero security to having full visibility and the ability to create policies to enforce our requirements, I think it was a reasonable investment. Going from zero to, say, 80 to 90 percent capabilities was a good deal.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When we chose it there weren't many solution providers so their pricing might have been something that smaller environments, smaller shops, might have balked at. For larger environments, it wasn't a problem because it's a choice between having no security for containers and having security.

It was a price point that made sense to us, compared to not having a solution that would provide us with the visibility and the enforcement policy aspects, to lock things down. They were reasonable with their pricing. They were pretty down-to-earth about the way they pitched their product and the way they tried to close the deal. They were one of the rare companies that approached the whole valuation in a way that made sense for our company, for our needs, and for their own requirements as well.

They were a good company to work with, to sum it up. Given the customer service, technical aspects, and pricing, the offer made sense to us and we went forward with them.

Regarding licensing, they will accommodate your needs if they are able to understand them and they're stated clearly. If your needs are on the visibility side, Aqua Security will be able to accommodate that and not price the full solution. If you need the full solution, they will provide pricing accordingly. Based on the needs and the environment, they will be able to come up with a licensing structure that will accommodate whatever the requirements are.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were only a few players in the field, two of them being more equal to each other, Aqua Security and a competitor. But at the time, the competitor's product wouldn't even install properly on our PoC systems, and when we said, "Hey, look, your product isn't installing," they just pointed us to more documentation and said we should download the latest version. So they weren't really offering any technical support or any other type of customer service resources to even resolve the initial hurdle. That was a red flag right off the bat: "Hey, look, this competitor is not willing to work with us to even gain the initial foothold."Aqua Security, on the other hand, helped us even though there was no issue. They spent a lot of time explaining how to properly roll it out, properly configure it, etc.

What other advice do I have?

First off, know your environment. Know your rollout. If you're in the planning stage, make sure you design things properly and, once you have that in place, once you know your own infrastructure, then talk with Aqua Security to find the best solution that works for you, whether you need visibility or whether you need enforcement capabilities.

If you need to integrate the logs which are in your existing infrastructure, it would be quite useful to involve Aqua Security earlier so they can properly address the issues that need to be solved in the infrastructure.

Work with them earlier in the design phase, if it's still being designed. If it's an existing infrastructure, talk to them but know your environment, for your own sake and to make things easier for Aqua Security to provide a better fitting solution so nobody's time is wasted. You can get more bang for your buck or more value out of the deal if you know your environment.

The main reasons we chose Aqua Security were the visibility it provided into the container platform and the great customer service. Both aspects: The visibility they provided, compared to the other solutions - their technical abilities were further ahead - and the customer service aspect of it. They were able to work with us closely and address our problems in a prompt manner.

The solution they provided, from all aspects, was great. They understood our needs, delivered solutions, and remedied any issues that we brought up in a timely manner. They surprised us on many occasions by having things delivered in a couple of days. The scalability of it and the ease of deployment made it a great solution for us.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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