Check Point CloudGuard Posture Management Review

Security visibility accuracy is tremendous, letting us see who is trying to access what


What is our primary use case?

We pull all of our cloud platforms into Dome9: AWS and Azure as well as our Kubernetes environment. We use it for a few things: 

  1. It provides policy compliance. If we wanted to use SOX compliance or HIPAA, then we can turn on rules for that. Then, if something is in violation of one of those rules, it will let us know and we can correct it.
  2. We are able to set users, authentication, and powers, e.g., give users the ability to create networks. 
  3. We use it for log monitoring. We are able to pull in logs from cloud environments, review them, and take action.

How has it helped my organization?

Dome's security rule sets and compliance frameworks do great at helping us stay in line with various industry standards that we try to keep our company inline with automatically. We have had several examples where we have had users create machines or networks that wouldn't be in compliance with those policies. Dome9 immediately took care of them, preventing them from even being stood up. There is a lot of peace of mind with this stuff.

We are pretty thoroughly regulated for financial compliance. When we are talking to new clients or existing clients, we can point out that our cloud environment is completely in sync with the various industry standards of regulations.

The solution helps us to minimize attack surface and manage dynamic access because it automatically takes action based on the rules that we provide for it. It closes holes before they even open.

Dome9 integrates security best practices and compliance regulations well into the CI/CD, across cloud providers. This helps automate security and improve compliance posture. Rules are automated on their own. You set the policy that you want to hold your cloud environment and company to, while Dome9 is scanning your cloud platforms for those issues which are occurring at all times. If we didn't have that in place, then we would have to manually check every single network or machine that anyone stands up with a cloud. Because Dome9 is so efficient at this, anytime a machine, environment, or network gets stood up, it's able to go in and check the parameters to see if it is inline with our compliance rules.

What is most valuable?

All the features are very valuable. The policy compliance piece is probably the most valuable. It provides monitoring of your environment and whether you are actively looking at it. So, if I have a user who will try to spin up a network in the cloud that isn't inline with our policies, it will automatically stop that from being able to be created, then delete it. Therefore, it will take action whether or not we are explicitly looking at the platform, keeping it in compliance with the rest of the company at all times.

Dome9 enables customizable governance using simple, readable language. It comes with a robust tool set that they have already created with their own rules that they have already built. However, you do have the capability of going in to write your own stuff. We haven't had to do too much of that because the prebuilt stuff that they have is really good, but it is there if you need it.

Dome9's accuracy when it comes to compliance checking is tremendous. It finds issues in the environment pretty quickly when you run a scan. It will do it on an automated basis as well, so you don't have to manually scan your environment all the time. It will be constantly doing it in the background for you.

Security visibility accuracy is tremendous. A lot of that comes in as flow logs and lets us see who is trying to access what almost on a real-time basis. That is not something you usually get easily from cloud providers.

It works great at identifying, prioritizing, and auto-remediating events. Whatever scenario or set of criteria you feed Dome9, it will quickly and efficiently look for those issues in your environment and correct them.

What needs improvement?

The biggest thing is the documentation aspect of Dome9 is a little lacking. They were purchased by Check Point about a year and a half to two years ago. When they integrated into Check Point's support system, a lot of the documentation that they had previously got mangled in the transition, e.g., linking to stuff on the Dome9 website that no longer exists. There are still a lot of spaces with incomplete links and stuff that is not as fully explained as it could be. However, the product itself is really easy to use, so there is not too much of an issue with that. Also, it's not too hard to get on with the actual Check Point support to go over this stuff.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any issues with it going down or any connectivity issues.

This solution doesn't require any post-deployment maintenance. It takes care of itself. The only stuff that you would want to do is look for new rule sets as they get added by Dome9, i.e., if you want to add anything or change it. Otherwise, you can set and forget it pretty well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. The only thing to watch out for is the licensing. We just ran into that. Dome9 will take how much you have from a cloud deployment standpoint, and you need to be appropriately licensed for it. You can't have too many cloud assets or you will exceed your license, then it stops reviewing the data that was added later.

Everyone who uses Dome9 is security at the moment. We are probably going to change that, as we are probably going to expand it in the future. We will have a lot of developers in there pretty soon.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to use Check Point's technical support in a while. I used them more back during the initial deployment, and earlier on, when the solution was just purchased by Check Point. I think the documentation could definitely use some improvement: their secure knowledge stuff. 

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

Before Dome9, we just used native.

What we were doing natively wasn't sufficient. Once we saw what we were capable of doing with Dome9, that showed us all the stuff that we weren't doing with the native stuff that we could and should have been doing. Because it was so buried in there, we didn't know about it or how to do it. So, Dome9 helped us learn from a native tool perspective that there are other things that you can be doing with those tools that may not be that apparent.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. A lot of the work for Dome9 is done upfront. There is an onboarding tool that Dome9 has when you want to add a cloud environment. That holds your hand and walks you through it pretty easily. It will show you everything you need to do both on the Dome9 side and on the cloud side to get the cloud environment integrated and set up. From there, the compliance rule sets that you want to apply to your company are all neatly laid out. With a single click, you can tell it that you want to run the X, Y, Z rule set against your current environment, then it will do that in a matter of minutes.

Initially, our deployment took probably a week just to get ourselves up and running. At that time, we were also trying to get the cloud deployment figured out. Knowing what we know now, we have stood up subsequent environments in minutes.

What about the implementation team?

We did the deployment ourselves. Two people were involved in the deployment process; I worked with a cloud security architect for Dome9's deployment. 

What was our ROI?

I have 100 percent seen ROI from money and time savings. We don't have to spend all day maintaining cloud environments. They take care of that for us. 

Dome9 helps our developers save time by as much as 50 percent. It prevents us from having to make them go back and redo their work. They do not even have the option to be out of compliance. It stops them from building machines and non-compliant stuff only to have to go back and redo them later, especially if Dome9 will shut that down before it even starts. A lot of people, when they get in the cloud, don't know what they're doing. So, if we're limiting the options they have available, then we see that cutting their time in half.

For security, there is a 90 percent time savings. Just having to manually check this stuff would be a nightmare, so I don't mind doing it on an automated basis.

A unified security solution across all major public clouds affects our cloud security operations by saving us a ton of time and effort. We don't have to redo things manually or check every individual environment all the time for compliance. This frees us up to build out and make a more sophisticated environment, really working on fine tuning things. We have a smaller team, so this has definitely helped us.

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

The pricing is tremendous and super cheap. It is shockingly cheap for what you get out of it. I am happy with that. I hope that doesn't get reported back and they increase the prices. I love the pricing and the licensing makes sense. It is just assets: The more stuff that you have, the more you pay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate other solutions or vendors. We were impressed with the demo and PoC that we received.

While other vendors do have tools that are pretty good, the thing which we run into is that we have multiple cloud environments. Also, even within the cloud environments themselves, there are a lot of the tools but they are not as streamlined as the one that Dome9 offers. Dome9 pulls everything together into a single pane of glass for you.

I love the work involved in maintaining and scaling security services and configurations across multiple public clouds using this solution, versus using native native cloud security controls. It is so much better. The different cloud platforms all have their own way that they handle a lot of the stuff that Dome9 handles. Even within their platform, they are in a lot of disparate places, e.g., in AWS, there are five different tools. You have to jump between them to get the same information that you can just pull in automatically on Dome9, which is just one platform. We are using multiple platforms, so that makes it even more complicated and time consuming if you had to just rely on them to get all of your information. Whereas, it's all just summarized and put together on the Dome9 end.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend people buy it. Design your environment with Dome9 in mind. From the ground up, let Dome9 analyze your environment and get you compliant with the rules that you need to be compliant with.

Its remediation works really well. Some of the more advanced remediation stuff can get more complicated because it involves spinning up, like Lambda functions in the cloud. That can be a more complicated procedure than some of the normal compliance remediation, but it's there and it's powerful.

We just use AWS and Azure, but they have Google Cloud Platform as well that you could use.

We are using it pretty extensively for what we are currently doing now, and we will expand that. My team manages all our cloud deployments, so we have everything that we are currently using integrated into Dome9, but we are also in the process of redoing our cloud deployment. So, instead of just building the cloud stuff, then putting Dome9 on top of it, we will be building it knowing that we will have Dome9 from the ground up.

I would rate this solution as a 10 out of 10. I love it.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

SaaS
**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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