IBM Guardium Data Protection Review

We are more efficient in demonstrating compliance but the reporting features need work

What is our primary use case?

To protect the data. We're trying to monitor privileged users, get an idea of what's normal access, and to make sure that service account usage is only coming from the appropriate places, not being used by people from their own work stations.

How I would describe how well it's performing is that we are taking a slow and steady approach to it. Right now, I would say we're going from crawl to walk as far as usage goes; not using any of the sophisticated features, more getting the base implementation in place.

How has it helped my organization?

I think we have a better handle on who is accessing our data.

We use Guardium to support security initiatives and compliance policies within our organization. Our internal audit is keeping an eye out, and making sure that we're in compliance. Having the Guardium solution and its reporting helps us get through that process a lot more quickly and efficiently.

We're not using any of the workflow yet, but I would say yes, it is helping with compliance reporting. We're making sure that we're monitoring the usage of privilege accounts, managing the use of the service accounts.

We have not integrated Guardium with any other systems.

It has made us more efficient in demonstrating that we are in compliance, and enables to get through audit processes more quickly, which saves time and money.

What is most valuable?

Probably the most valuable feature for me, in my role as systems DBA, is the expediting of internal and external audits.

What needs improvement?

The one thing that I would like to see improved, but I don't think it's going to be in the next release, is its reporting capabilities. I think that's been offloaded to another third-party product that I think IBM actually endorses for that. It was built by the guy who helped develop Guardium but left IBM and spun up his own company. They found a need and they filled it. I think they filled it better than at least IBM thinks they can do for now.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm not the administrator of the product so I don't know that I would be the best one to answer this. But from more of a consumer's perspective, the fact that the S-TAPs and such run on my systems, it has not caused us any problems; a little bit in the SQL Server space, but overall it has been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that it's very scalable. You can spin up new Collectors and Aggregators as needed so, I'd say it's sufficient.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not have experience with technical support. I know that our main Guardium guy is the head of the user group, so, he has used it. He has connections. He usually gets quick feedback because they know he is very visible.

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

We had rolled our own stuff to do some of what Guardium does, but I think it was organizational recognition that switching was something that needed to be done. The monitoring and reporting was lacking in our organization. We had pockets where we had built our own, but now we're able to use one platform to do that monitoring for all of our database environments.

We went with IBM because it was a combination of functionality and familiarity, in that we have a lot of IBM products in-house, and it fit the criteria.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate others, but I couldn't tell you what they were because that was a couple of years ago.

What other advice do I have?

It does a good job for what it's designed to do. You may want to look into the enhanced reporting that's available by the third party, because some of the report-building features are not as nice as some of the third party's.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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