Rapid7 InsightVM Review

Speed and quality of vulnerability scanning translates to reliable and timely results


What is our primary use case?

We have a few primary use cases. The main one is looking at the visibility of devices that are on our network to keep track of things as they come and go, we're looking for known vulnerabilities whether it's the operating system, network devices, mobile devices, and the like. When we find the vulnerabilities we remediate them, so it's also our job to verify that remediations have been successful. In addition, we are now beginning to get involved in setting security baselines and configuring baselines and using InsightVM to audit those configurations.

We're scanning about 6,000 devices. There are about 4,000 users in our environment, they are all IT staff. We also have technical leads from our user services, which is our workstation support, mobile devices, laptops, etc. We've got our infrastructure office which is servers and cloud administration, the IT security group, which is myself, and then our network support team and network administrators as well. It means our IT leadership gets some definite value from the reporting there. The CTO, his assistant, and all the IT managers receive their information from there as well. We have one person working in maintenance, and that's not a full-time position. 

What is most valuable?

For us there are many integrations with things like the VMware NSX that are great, the reporting is really solid. I like the ability to set goals and SLAs for remediation. When a new vulnerability is found we can have an SLA associated with it automatically based on severity and some of those things. I like the integration with Cisco ISE for identity and doing automated containments and the like. But the biggest thing for me is the quality of the vulnerability scanning itself. The quality of the results and the timeliness, the speed with which they update with new checks for new vulnerabilities. That is the big thing for us.

What needs improvement?

There are some difficulties with the online reporting and lack of integrations, the information that you can get from the APIs in the software is not the best. There's still some fleshing out of their API that I think could benefit them as well. 

I'd like to see more integrations with ticketing systems. Right now, JIRA and ServiceNow are the only ticketing systems that have integration with Rapid7. Extending that would be big. Some additional integrations with some patch management solutions would be good too. IBM BigFix and SCCM. Microsoft has integrations there. In our situation, we're not using either of those and that feature doesn't really give us a whole lot. If there were to be new integrations added on, both on the patch management and the ITMS side, that would be a big improvement.

Additional features would be the additional integrations for ticketing systems that I mentioned. There are always updates rolling out for new scans and things. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for quite a few years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've been impressed with the stability. The only issues that have really come up have been on the cloud reporting aspect. We've had a couple of issues here or there, but their support people were able to get us fixed up in a couple of hours. As far as the on-premises stuff, the only issues we've honestly had with it were problems of our own making. We didn't keep an eye on storage and it filled up but that was a lack of monitoring on our side. Since then it's been rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't thrown anything at it that it can't handle. The report generation slows down the larger your environment gets, and the greater the number of scans you're trying to integrate into a single report. Even with the increased resources that we gave the server when we did a rebuild hasn't caused any problems. I would anticipate that if you're getting up into the tens of thousands of devices and trying to report across all of those, I could see that grinding to a halt a little bit.

Otherwise, scalability is great. We have more than doubled the number of devices that we're scaling since we did the initial install. We're up to somewhere around 6,000 now and it's chugging right along.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support have been a pleasure to work with. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. There were a couple of things with integrating and some areas where it gets a bit more complex, but for the most part, it was very straightforward, especially for how powerful a solution it is. We're running a fairly advanced setup here with multiple scanning engines, scanning pools, and integrations into other systems in our environment and all of that. Defining all of the sites and asset grouping and all of those sorts of things, took some additional time after that. You'd have to do that no matter what. 

What about the implementation team?

We used professional services from Rapid7 to assist with the initial deployment and set up was completed in less than two days. They were great. They took their time and didn't just do the setup, they also included user education and they have continued to reach out since then and make sure we're getting value from the product.  

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

Our licensing costs are somewhere around $40,000 annually. There are no additional fees. We will probably increase our license count annually as our environment kind of naturally grows. We started out with probably about a third of the network covered and we are up to probably 75, 80% now. We'll get that up to over 99%, I'm sure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a few other options: Acunetix was on the list and we looked at Manage Engine, Nessus, Rubric, Alien Vault, Microfocus, ArcSight, FireMon and RedSeal. On the vulnerability management side, we were very, very impressed with Rapid7 and the Insight VMware product. We looked more in-depth at a few of the others but VMware Insight stood out. The ease of use on VMware Insight coming from an organization that doesn't have a large dedicated security team, and being able to split out some of those responsibilities amongst people who may have a strong IT background, but may not have an IT security background really helped us out. It became a no-brainer at that point.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to take the time to have a full understanding of how schemes are scheduled, how sites and asset groups are set up and make sure it's done upfront. It's a big help. If you remove an old site and recreate it with small differences you lose some of the data associated with the old site. Getting the organization sorted from the beginning would be the biggest piece of advice.

It's very important to know what your environment is made up of. People often leave companies without documenting things and there's a lot that not everybody knows about because it was in the back of someone's mind. We now have a great repository of information on what's active on our network, what's installed on it, how all of those systems are interacting, and really having that visibility is great. One of the big lessons we were able to get value from immediately was really just having good visibility of what's in our environment.

It's a very solid product, reporting is great, it's reliable. We have a lot of faith in the results it gives us. At least once a week, I get a notification with some great new features that they've added that I didn't really even know I wanted, but now I have it and can't imagine life without it. 

The product is cloud-based, but with an on-prem portion, but it all auto-updates. The actual scanning engine and all of that is on-prem for us. It's a SaaS solution, it's not one where we are running our own servers. It's provided as a service for us on the cloud. The on-premises stuff that we're running is just virtual machines on our VMware environment.

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

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