Rapid7 InsightVM Review

Broad capabilities make this scanning solution able to cover a lot of ground


What is our primary use case?

In our first use case, we wanted to map the solution back to our NIS (Network and Information Systems) framework and the CIS (Center for Internet Security that publishes Critical Security Controls). That is the first part. The second part of this same use case is that we wanted to do continuous vulnerability scanning. That is we wanted to scan the complete network every month at a minimum. What we are finding out in practice is that we are scanning every week because of our network and the size of it. In the end, we are able to get even more aggressive than our original position.  

The next use case was we wanted to identify the assets that were in our environment. We can identify how many servers we have, we have identified how many desktops and laptops we have got, et cetera. To that point is where we were looking at pretty good.  

Our next use case was the obvious next step where we wanted to identify vulnerabilities. That meant identifying all the vulnerabilities from critical all the way down to the low. We needed to know what they were and how many. Also, we wanted to know how many are unique versus how many there are in total.  

We also wanted to get away from tracking vulnerabilities on spreadsheets. It was incredibly cumbersome, incredibly hard to do, and it was not efficient. The IT guys kept telling me that they did not know how to fix certain issues. So I thought we needed to do CVSS ( Common Vulnerability Scoring System) on it. They were a bit resistant to that idea. Well, I was not about to start doing that for them. So InsightVM gives us the ability now to track the issues and communicate how the remediation should occur to fix vulnerabilities.  

Then the last thing is we wanted was to have a dashboard for management. We had to have a dashboard to be able to have a CIO (Chief Information Officer) log in and find out where we sit with things. Like where do we sit with remediation where are we failing to make expected progress and things of that nature.  

Rapid7 gave us the ability to do a lot of that, and it was not a cumbersome tool to implement. It is good and fits well with pretty much all of our use case needs. It only falls short in a couple of spots.  

What needs improvement?

Now that we have been using it, I think there are some things Rapid7 needs to consider and address in improving InsightsVM. I think the reporting piece has room for improvement. While they have a lot of reporting, and some of the reporting is really good, there are some things that I think they can do better on. They need to add some categories that are not covered and expand a few things that have only surface coverage.  

I would love to be on a customer advisory board so that I could provide feedback to them and show them what their solution does not do. For example, I could point out things that I can not do with a widget on the dashboard that I would expect it to be able to do. Things like that might help them improve the product from a real user's perspective. That could amount to a lot of different things, but ideally, it would focus on your most common issues.  

There were a couple of things I know that the security analyst and I were looking at and we were wondering why Rapid7 would choose to implement it that way. Like if they did not include something we needed as part of a report, we could not do what we expected when running the report. That is a little frustrating. I would say that they need to spend some more time evaluating enhancements suggested by customers so that they can get those things implemented and round out the user experience. That is the reason why I think a CAB (Customer Advisory Board) is important for vendors like Rapid7.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We rolled it out in our operations between June and September. So we have been using it since June of 2020.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not know at this point just how scalable this solution is. We bought it for an enterprise solution, so our enterprise need is getting solved. I do not know how much scaling we have to do on top of that. I do not like the fact that as a vulnerability scanner, this product has a fault to a certain extent. We want to be able to scan applications dynamically and this solution does not give us that ability. It does for web apps. But if you are a company that does not have a lot of web apps, something is getting left uncovered.  

Let's say you have a third-party app. You go to that third-party developer and you ask if they have ever done a security attestation on the application. They look at you and like they have no idea what the heck you are talking about and they have no idea what that means. It would be good, in that case, to be able to take the Rapid7 product and point it at that third-party app and scan it dynamically. That way you can get code vulnerabilities or functional vulnerabilities. What would otherwise be a problem is something you could identify and isolate. If Rapid7 looked at the scripting and identified a secret injection attack at line 1,141 — or something to that effect — it could be vetted. It does do that, but it only does that on web applications. Why stop there?  

In order to solve that issue, you have to go out and buy another third-party product that allows you to scan the application to do dynamic or static vulnerability scanning on the application. I do not like that omission because I had that capability with Qualys. We could take Qualys and we could point it at an application and get dynamic scanning reports from it. It told us a line that needed to be fixed and everything.  

I have not yet gotten into the bowels of that discussion with Rapid7, but I want to. What I did find out about it is our current setup does not cover that type of potential application vulnerability. It does allow for some scanning of web applications, but we are not a company that has a lot of web applications. We are not a retail organization. We do not sell anything. We do have web applications, but they are mainly used for marketing.  

We probably have close to a dozen people in our organization who are currently interfacing in some way with Rapid7 InsightVM. That part is scalable. The utility does have those certain limitations, however.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a client service manager for Rapid7 tech support. He is an appointed customer service manager where we have him for the first year. We are working with him to identify things, correct things, implement, attune, and things like that. Because of that relationship, I do not have a need to call their regular tech support right now. We just worked through the service manager.  

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

I have had some previous experience with Qualys and using Rapid7 now is really a matter of what I chose to bring on based on my personal user experience. Each has its own advantages and neither is a bad product.   

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation and setup were pretty much straightforward. We did run into an issue with credentialing. We ended up working through that and got that correct.  

I think it was done fairly quickly overall. When we ran into that credentialing issue, we spent about three weeks or so — almost a month — working through that. The issue meant involving some guys from some of the other IT teams and getting them into the mix to help us out.  

What other advice do I have?

I had implemented InsightVM before at another company. I liked it when we were using it there which is why it ended up here. I have also had previous experience with Qualys. I did not have the time or the luxury to sit back and do a full analysis, RFI (Request for Information) and RFP (Request for Proposal) when we had to bring on the solution. We are not the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), we are not the NSA (National Security Agency). We do not need any sophisticated solution or anything like that. We just needed something we could bring in, get online fairly quickly, and get running to do reports. Rapid7 InsightsVM fit the bill.  

On a scale of one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate Rapid7 InsightVM as probably about an eight-out-of-ten. It gets an eight rather than scoring higher just because of some of the other stuff that I wish we had.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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