What is our primary use case?
Incapsula was acquired by Imperva. We had a need to provide a solution for our clients and the Incapsula solution and Cloud WAF (Web Application Firewall) allowed us to have people subscribe to Incapsula as a service. It was easy to work with because we would just put in the hostname and the IP address of the websites in Incapsula's DNS. When the DNS is resolved it first passes through Incapsula and makes a stops in the Cloud WAF before it sends the website itself.
Customers can trust it because the traffic going to the customer passes through Incapsula's cloud service. So if there is an attack, the website and the visitors are protected because it will take care of such issues and it eliminates the bad traffic. Both ends are taken care of so the website is protected from hackers because it first goes through the Incapsula Cloud WAF. That is the basic high-level architecture of how the Incapsula works.
We distributors of Imperva in Africa. I am responsible for our business presence in Eastern and Western Africa. I am fixed locally here in Nigeria. Being distributors, we have a pretty good idea of how the market is in general and how the products are used. All the partners who implement it and who resell sell it, buy it from us and deploy for customer accounts. We cover a high percentage of the financial service industry here in Nigeria.
What is most valuable?
For this part of the world, several things are important. It is important that the clients have the features which they get to use to get against bad traffic, of course as this is the reason for the product. But especially for customers in this region, it is also the opportunity to use the service platform. They do not have to own it or maintain it and they may not otherwise have the capacity to deploy this type of solution. Instead, they can pay for it as a service. It works so well here that even some of the banks are using it.
The most valuable feature is the ability to mitigate bad traffic. I think the highest traffic we would experience can be handled by the Incapsula Cloud WAF because it can scale. So if there is some attack on a website and there is high volume, instead of it disrupting the website and disrupting business operations, it is not a problem for the customer's website. That ability to mitigate problems with the traffic is why the clients use the product to protect their valuable data and customer interactions.
What needs improvement?
If I had the opportunity to recommend an enhancement to Imperva it would be to have more POP (Point of Presence) in East and West Africa, and in Central Africa as well. There is only one POP in South Africa. There are other ones are in Europe, America, and Asia and sometimes the latency can be an issue because for your traffic to hit the website — say in East Africa. First, it has to first go to the nearest point of presence. Because of the distance, there can be some problems. So if they have a POP closer to manage customers around Africa this could be a better service to clients.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have only recently begun to use Imperva Incapsula compared to the amount of time I have been in the industry. For more than a decade and I have tried my hands on various security solutions, mainly having to do with network infrastructure. But now I am back to working with security solutions and, over this past year, I have engaged mostly with applications in data security. Before that, I was doing a lot more with the whole of network security. Incapsula is more of an application for data security and it is something which Imperva does pretty well.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability is not an issue. The product is serviced and maintained for the client.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Virtually all the banks in Nigeria, Ghana, East, and West Africa, are using Imperva. Of course, they are using it for various things, but for the most part, they use it for data security and application security and then also a little bit on the Incapsula platform.
The scalability depends on the customer but there are really no features that a client will want to request that Imperva does not handle in terms of scalability. Of course, you cannot compare the size of the banks and the input and output demands of banking in Western European countries or the Americas with the needs of banking in Africa.
For us, it is a good solution.
How are customer service and technical support?
Response from technical support has been very good. I would say that they are excellent because they are always willing to attend to customers' requests. They provide support based on time zones so there is good access.
How was the initial setup?
Because it is a cloud product and the setup is minimal, it is straightforward and quickly implemented.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I do have experience with Imperva SecureSphere. I am working with various solutions that have various features and how these solutions work for different customers. For one customer, I was trying to do some research to see if they should replace Trustwave WAF with a different solution because the customer asked me about other possibilities. This was my first customer who had asked me to look into Trustwave, so I also took the time to research that product. But different products fit different businesses and industries better.
What other advice do I have?
I am not an expert in every solution of this type, but I have a pretty good idea of what makes them work as a good solution based on customer needs. I do not do the implementation because I am more in a position of doing pre-sales and consultancy.
I would highly recommend Imperva Incapsula especially for customers who want extra security for their web presence.
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the Incapsula product overall as a nine-out-of-ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?