Carbon Black CB Defense Review

Well organized documentation, overall superior functionality, and helpful visualizations


What is our primary use case?


Some of my client's use cases are typical endpoint protection, telemetry, and threat hunting. We are using all three of the most popular services that point back to the cloud central console.

What is most valuable?

Some of the valuable features I have found are the online documentation of the solution is well organized and thorough. I like the simplicity of bypass and the visualization of the active components. If I want to know which file is being utilized and what sub-files it is calling, the visualization given is very helpful.

I would like to see them continue to run some of the AI-type comparisons. I know everyone is really secretive about what they do and what they have engineered, but I think Cylance was a good market disruptor years ago with their approach. Now we see SentinelOne and everyone is approaching that piece of the puzzle similarly now. I just would like to see more of a comparison. We have done our own technical comparison but it is fairly expensive. All solutions have pros and cons, if more third-party organizations or teams could evaluate how each product works in pros and cons many people would benefit.

What needs improvement?

This solution could have greater granular control on how certain applications work. You are able to do the operation of allowing or disallow, or you can block unusual usage of an application, but they do not define it well. 

The PowerShell is being called in any way that the threat actor might use it versus an administrator. You are in a way taking this solutions' best guess at it or their understanding of it. They do not clearly tell you in technical terms how they make that determination. They should be more forthright about it, or if they can not tell us, they should just give us the control to make those selections. We are choosing it because at least we have that control where we do not have that same amount of control with other solutions like Cylance. However, they are still not telling us precisely what constitutes suspicious behavior, what actions, or what calls. It is a check box to say, lock if we have inappropriate use, or block if we have suspicious behavior. It would be helpful to tell us what that actually meant.

In the future, I would like to see more granular control of PowerShell and more administrative tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution has been good. I like the fact that their call home is a single port, 443, a well-known port with a backup port, 54443. Their architecture, that way is easy for network admin to understand and open up and passing firewalls. In contrast with ATP, ATP has a lot of port requirements, It is much more complex and easy to misunderstand ATP communications until you really dig hard to see how does it work. This solution is much simpler that way. Additionally, performance-wise, user agents seem to hover around 1%-2%, it is fairly efficient and lightweight.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution has been good. We implemented a couple of large POCs. We have some clients and colleagues that are running it at scale, with more than 5,000 endpoints with great success. We are pleased overall. Most of our clients are mid-cap or small enterprises.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have found the solution support has been strong. 

I would rate the support of Carbon Black CB Defense a seven out of ten.

Companies need to work on the timeliness of support. Getting directed to a strong enough, experienced enough technical person sooner is important. That just is not the way support is currently built. Usually, they start at tier one and move up. I am sure there are a lot of customers that call in support with simpler questions that you do not want to tie up a tier-three person's time. However, I do not think my request for support to improve is not unique to this solution. 

We have a very knowledgeable technical team. When we call for support we are wanting to interact with tier two or tier three right away. It is frustrating to have to work through the tiers to get where we want to go.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Cylance and we are coming off of a direct comparison of the two. In the current version of this solution, they have a stronger AI version or component. The overall general quality of the breadth of the solution is better. To receive the same functionality in Cylance, we needed to add the CylanceOPTICS product and we have not had great success with it.

What I do not like about Cylance is it is very binary. You either allow AST to be a 56-bit hash or you do not. I think there is room for more granular control, which we now receive by using this solution.

Overall this solution is better than Cylance.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has been straightforward. I think their user interfaces in mature and understandable, they did a good job in it. I would not say any end-point solution is simple, but I think it is more intuitive than many of them.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others is to take advantage of the POC and work with your POC rigorously. I think we have good responses on the POC as they get closer and closer to wanting to close. We were able to get stronger and stronger and more timely support. It is a good program and they are very fair about it. In any EDR, I would test them heavily and do not rely on marketing.

When applying an overall rating to this solution I do not think there are any tens in the marketplace. We very pleased and we evaluate this every year or two. In our POC, we had 200 samples including ones that were available but not as popular and we received a 100% efficacy. We were very pleased with the results.

I rate Carbon Black CB Defense an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Latest version
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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Learn what your peers think about Carbon Black CB Defense. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
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