What is most valuable?
The most important part of the product is the event correlation and alerting that it provides. Sifting through tens of millions of logs a day looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack is impossible for a single person or even a team without automation
How has it helped my organization?
Being able to identify security issues as they occur at near real time. Being able to then respond to them as soon as they occur is priceless.
What needs improvement?
We have a relatively large deployment that spans multiple locations and domains. Having the ability to authenticated users across multiple domains would be useful, but is not critical. The log query capability is pretty restrictive and I find myself searching through raw logs via command line more often than the GUI. Full logging is not supported out of the box, you will need to modify configurations to store all logs if that is your concern or a requirement of your organization, AlienVault by default only stores alert logs, this can and will bite you at some point. The IDS Rules need better oversight when updated. The vulnerability scanner needs to have a power user mode that gives you a more complete interface to the vulnerability scanner (OpenVas).
For how long have I used the solution?
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Most problems were due to our environment and having to utilize the built-in VPN capabilities. Once a few sensors have been added via the VPN it is pretty simple to remember how to do it.
How are customer service and technical support?
All interactions with customer service and technical support have been great. The engineering group is based in Spain and occasionally you may have timing issues with their team and yourself.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Another group in our company used QRadar before they were bought out. The buyout created a bad enough situation that the group refused to renew with QRadar, especially when they decided after 18 months that they did not want to support the hardware that their predecessors had sold. We also trialed LogRhythm which was a more mature product, but had its own quirks and annoyances. The largest issue I found the LogRhythm was the excessive amount of time to spend to deploy a single agent, much less repeating that process 390 times for our environment.
How was the initial setup?
We had a pretty large deployment most of our locations were straightforward some were more complex due having to route them through a MPLS connection with only limited connections to the main locations.
What about the implementation team?
We integrated through a third party vendor recommended group, they caused many issues on their own some that were not discovered for over a year. Be wary of any third party that wants to do anything with the database.
What was our ROI?
ROI for AlienVault will probably not be about the money. The return is the time saved and the intelligence that you are able to gather about your environment that you did not have before.
What other advice do I have?
Do your research in SIEM solutions and realize that it is not going to be a set and forget product. For 10 sensors like what we run there are weeks that it requires logging in and closing tickets and there are weeks where you will spend 10+ hours working on the deployment.
There are some things that are great and some that are annoying, this is not a perfect product. Most security products are never perfect especially based on different organizations that will run them.
Find out what your peers are saying about AT&T, Splunk, LogRhythm and others in Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). Updated: February 2021.
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