Imperva Incapsula Review

CloudFlare vs. Incapsula


What is most valuable?

Incapsula:

  • Strength of DDoS and WAF
  • Simple dashboard
  • Analytics
  • SSL

CloudFlare:

  • Ease of use
  • Simple dashboard
  • DNS management
  • CDN
  • SSL

How has it helped my organization?

Incapsula:

It has provided heightened visibility and awareness at management level on the actual threat landscape; it paves the way for easier approval for security-related implementations/projects.

CloudFlare:

It provides free SSL certs that can be used on website domains that I did not purchase SSL certs for.

Some protection and CDN caching realized, even though I’m on the free tier.

What needs improvement?

Incapsula:

  • Allow easier scripting of firewall rules.
  • Enable more custom actions to trigger turning on/off Incapsula settings (current actions are quite limited).
  • Allow setting up of user groups to manage different groups of sites with viewer/operations/admin levels of privileges. This is quite a typical requirement for enterprise clients who will have multiple teams taking care of different sites, plus an overall IT security team who oversees everything.

CloudFlare:

  • Improve the strength of WAF/DDoS.
  • Reduce the rate of false positives.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Incapsula for about a year.

I have used CloudFlare for almost a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Incapsula: The dashboard occasionally is not accessible (probably due to high load) but the sites protected seem intact.

CloudFlare: I have not used it enough to provide useful information.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Incapsula: The only issue so far is with the dashboard.

CloudFlare: I have not used it enough to provide useful information.

How is customer service and technical support?

Incapsula: Technical support provides fast response via email tickets, and fairly responsive local technical/account reps.

CloudFlare: I have hardly utilized their technical support so far.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

For both Incapsula and CloudFlare, initial setup was very easy.

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

Incapsula:

Pricing is described on their website, but for enterprise agreements, clarify with local reps, as there might be a need for customized needs/pricing. Be clear on how they handle domains and subdomains.

CloudFlare:

Pricing and licensing is very clearly described on their website; 1 site = 1 domain. Clarify how to support subdomains.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Incapsula and CloudFlare.

What other advice do I have?

Incapsula:

You need to understand how DNS works (e.g., A records vs CNAME, TXTs etc.), how SSL works and how to set it up, and how web servers work with domains and proxy servers. It is not for the layman, as the dashboard assumes some level of understanding in these topics. Some settings can break your site, so do perform some tests on a development site before turning features on/off in the dashboard. The good thing is that most settings are reversible and take effect quite quickly, so if things do go wrong, it will not stay broken for too long.

Also, use extra caution when dealing with TLDs, as the product does not handle your DNS, so for onboarding of domains using A records, you may need to ask Incapsula support for advice and assistance as it requires assigning the A record to a CNAME or IP address (network folks might understand the problem here).

CloudFlare:

You need to understand how DNS works (e.g., A records vs CNAME, TXTs etc.), how SSL works and how to set it up, and how web servers work with domains and proxy servers. It is not for the layman, as the dashboard assumes some level of understanding in these topics. Some settings can break your site, so do perform some tests on a development site before turning features on/off in the dashboard. The good thing is that most settings are reversible and take effect quite quickly, so if things do go wrong, it will not stay broken for too long.

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