BalaBit Shell Control Box Review
I like the support for many protocols, full OCR indexing and non-agent approach.

Valuable Features

  • Fully transparent for users.
  • Supports many protocols.
  • Full OCR indexing: You can find anything that happened in sessions, including commands, programs opened, etc. Without OCR, you would only be able to find who did which sessions, but not the content of the sessions or what admins have been doing.
  • Non-agent approach: A very important feature that is able to monitor access to devices which are not computers, such as switches, firewalls, or any device which uses SSH, TELNET, HTTPS. You are able to monitor access to the Internet by web browser, because SCB can work as a HTTP/S proxy.

Improvements to My Organization

Our customers use it to provide full privileged-access monitoring for external users/administrators, so they are fully compliant and still have easy access to external user’s activity.

Room for Improvement

VMware PCoIP protocol support: Many customers are switching from normal computers/environment to VDI infrastructure and some of them are switching to VMware Horizon that uses PCoIP protocol, which is not supported right now.

Central management for more SCB boxes: If you have many boxes in a customer infrastructure (right now we have one customer of this kind in POC and they will need eight boxes) with the same configuration/purpose, you have to do everything 8x. I know this feature is on the roadmap, but nobody knows when it will be available.

Use of Solution

I’ve been using Balabit for six years.

Stability Issues

We have not had stability issues.

Scalability Issues

We have not had scalability issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I give technical support a 4.5/5.

Previous Solutions

We did not use any previous solutions.

Initial Setup

It was super easy to deploy, not complicated, and did not have the hidden Capex that competitors do!

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It’s an easy license model; you can choose virtual or hardware appliances.

Other Solutions Considered

We evaluated ObserveIT and CyberArk.

Other Advice

Try more functions and use them! It’s a very powerful product; much more complex than all other competitors. But, almost all companies use it on less than 30% of their infrastructure.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Diamond Partner, but my own experience with Balabit and their SCB predates our company.
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