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Infoblox BloxOne Threat Defense Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Infoblox BloxOne Threat Defense competitors and alternatives

Laura Ling
DNS Guru at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Responsive support, integrates well with other security products, and allows us to more rapidly identify and remediate threats

Pros and Cons

  • "The reporting ability is helpful. It allows us to control what our users are able to resolve, and then be able to see reports on that."
  • "The documentation needs to be improved because there are a lot of different models that it can be deployed in, and it's somewhat confusing determining what you need and how to set it up to best cover your use cases."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as our intermediate between our internal DNS servers and the split-brain model and the internet so that queries don't appear to come directly from inside our network. They're filtered through BloxOne.

How has it helped my organization?

BloxOne has been excellent at helping to detect DNS threats, such as data exfiltration attempts. We're surprised at some of the things that it catches.

This product integrates with other security solutions, such as vulnerability scanners, and we're working to leverage those more fully. The integration gives us a single pane of glass, where it brings together all of the information into a single platform where we can view and evaluate it. This is important because it gives our InfoSec team a better handle of what's going on and where problems might be, and how to address them.

It seems to have reduced the effort required by our SecOps team because it gives them additional information that they didn't have access to before.

BloxOne has positively affected our monitoring and detection response processes because it gives us a clearer picture of what's happening in our environment and it simplifies forensics.

In general, we have benefitted from this product because it's allowed us to more rapidly identify and respond to potential issues that our other security tools haven't discovered, or discovered later. It has given us a better security posture than we would have, using only the other tools that we have.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the security aspect, which is why we bought it

The reporting ability is helpful. It allows us to control what our users are able to resolve, and then be able to see reports on that. As a healthcare company, we're a potentially high-value target, and this helps provide an extra layer of security, especially with people working from home, where we can help prevent them from accidentally or intentionally reaching some of the malicious sites, and either having their machines compromised or being part of data exfiltration and infiltration attempt.

BloxOne is protocol-agnostic when it comes to the web traffic that it blocks. For example, it finds purely DNS traffic that's in a lot of cases, missed by firewalls. This is important because it gives us another layer of protection. It's another vector for us to implement our security policies so that we're not reliant on a single technology or a single vendor.

What needs improvement?

The documentation needs to be improved because there are a lot of different models that it can be deployed in, and it's somewhat confusing determining what you need and how to set it up to best cover your use cases.

The interface needs to be a tad more streamlined, in that some of the menu options are not as clear as they could be.

For how long have I used the solution?

We deployed Infoblox BloxOne Threat Defense approximately one year ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has been very stable for us. We receive notifications whenever connectivity is disrupted between our on-premises infrastructure and the cloud, and we only get those when there is actually an issue, which isn't very frequent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've only implemented it in the US and scalability-wise, it has been more than sufficient for our needs. It's a cloud-based solution so there are multiple entry points. We are planning to go global with it in the near future and I don't foresee any problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is responsive to our needs when there are issues with the help desk. They are good when it comes to getting problems resolved and implementing improvements.

Essentially, they are good to start with, and they're responsive to any of the complaints that we've raised.

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

At this company, we did not switch to this product from another solution. We implemented it to simplify our architecture and to obtain the security features.

The closest thing that I have experience with is OpenDNS, which is Cisco's Umbrella, and they're not really comparable once you get past being able to resolve DNS. I have not done a head-to-head comparison between these products so I don't know whether BloxOne detects threats that Cisco Umbrella cannot. However, I know that BloxOne finds threats that our firewalls are not able to register.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly complex. We have a bit of a non-standard deployment and it was suggested that we take training prior to it when we're able to. So, part of that's self-inflicted, but going back to the documentation, some things are not as clear as they could be either.

Our implementation was done in a phased approach that started with a pilot that ran for a couple of months. In total, it took us approximately three months to deploy.

At the time, we were doing a hardware refresh so we implemented the BloxOne Threat Defense along with the new servers and ran it on them until they were rolled into the architecture of our NIOS implementation. 

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team was responsible for deployment. It was primarily me, and I'm a network engineer. We did have supporting people on-site because we have a physical implementation, although it was essentially a software switch that we turned on.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on our investment in that it prevents malware and data exfiltration. We have some high-value information that we don't want leaking out, and we know from the reports that there have been events that we were protected against by using BloxOne.

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

There is a significant charge for this product but I think that it's worth it when we look at what it's able to prevent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options before selecting BloxOne.

What other advice do I have?

This type of DNS-specific tool is an important part of a security solution that is not covered by other security tools, such as a next-generation firewall. If somebody suggested otherwise then I would tell them to test it out on some of the tools and do a head-to-head comparison.

My advice for anybody who is looking into implementing BloxOne is to do a comparison against some of the tools internally and see for yourself the value that it can provide. Then, work with Infoblox on the development and work with the security team on customizing and personalizing the rules so that you can allow the traffic that you need and block the traffic that you don't want. 

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this product is that there is always room to improve your security posture.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Behzad Barzideh
Senior Network Architect at SUNY at Stony Brook
Real User
Top 20
We don't have to worry about DNS infiltrations and helps ensure that end-users don't visit problematic websites

Pros and Cons

  • "When it comes to helping to detect DNS threats, BloxOne is good on all fronts. The number of false positives is very low, close to none. More than once it has detected new names or lookalike names and protected us and saved us from bad characters."
  • "The research side and the reporting side need improvement. Both of those are items on the menu. They could use a little bit of cleanup to make their respective information more easily understood."

What is our primary use case?

BloxOne is for DNS protection. We point our local domain name servers to it and it has a feed for "bad character" domain names. We protect our end-users that way. The way we're using it, that's all it does. It fits in somewhere in the middle of our security stack. DNS is the most important part of networking. Not so many people see it that way, but if you can't resolve, say, "cnn.com", nothing works. If your DNS doesn't work correctly, nothing is going to work correctly on your network. It is one of the first layers that comes into play when going to a website or using email.

It's a SaaS solution, a service that InfoBlox provides. All the systems are run by them and they maintain it.

How has it helped my organization?

It puts us at ease. We don't have to worry about so many DNS infiltrations. It has integrated and helped us make sure that our end-users don't visit websites that are not clean. Overall, it has helped with that side of our security.

BloxOne has also reduced the amount of effort for our SecOps team when investigating events. They have been using it and they're happy with it.

Overall, it's much easier to log, detect, and troubleshoot those aspects of the network.

What is most valuable?

The GUI has been improved a lot. It's easy to use and intuitive to navigate and to do whatever it is that you want to do with the system. Ease of use is one of the top features.

When it comes to helping to detect DNS threats, BloxOne is good on all fronts. The number of false positives is very low, close to none. More than once it has detected new names or lookalike names and protected us and saved us from bad characters.

What needs improvement?

The research side and the reporting side need improvement. Both of those are items on the menu. They could use a little bit of cleanup to make their respective information more easily understood.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Infoblox BloxOne Threat Defense for a year and a half. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any service outages with BloxOne. It has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have scaled it as far as we need to, and I have not seen any issues in that regard.

BloxOne gets used with every device in our enterprise that does DNS. As the number of devices grows, usage goes up. It is something that gets used without people even noticing that it's there. Almost the entire enterprise is using it.

As for increasing the use of its features, such as the integrations, we have talked about it, but we have way too many other projects and that has been put on the back burner.

How are customer service and technical support?

The only time we contacted them for support was during the initial setup, and that's how we got our SE to help us with the categories. On a scale of one to 10, their support is a 12.

We have been using InfoBlox as a company for more than 10 years. Their support team is well-versed in their products. They know their stuff. And if they don't know something, or there is something they haven't worked with, they are very quick to bring in somebody who knows the environment better. They don't drag you along while they're trying to learn, and that is something I really like.

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

We used something else that does almost the same thing. It provided us with the ability to block DNS. We have been doing this for the past 20 years or so. We switched to BloxOne because it's cloud-based. Logging is easier. With all of the previous systems that we had, we had to sacrifice on the logging feature, reduce the logging, because we couldn't maintain that size of a log. With BloxOne, logging is in the cloud and it's not limited. Also, somebody else is maintaining it, which we like.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was "in-between." It wasn't so complex, but it also was not so easy that anybody could do it. It had a learning curve, but the learning curve was not that bad. I tackled the learning curve by asking questions of my SE. He was able to give me directions about the best way to configure it.

The kinds of things I asked about were best practices around which categories to enable. I needed to better understand what all the categories were, and what they mean. The default settings were too rigid and we had to make some changes. The SE helped us to understand all the categories, which categories were redundant and which categories should be more relaxed.

We had a PoC deployment and then production. All together, they took about two to three working days.

Our implementation strategy was to set it up the way we believed it should be set up. We put it in a test environment and then realized that some of the categories were too restricted. We got on the phone and then made some changes to those categories. After a couple of weeks of testing, we put it into production. All the settings that needed to be enabled were enabled at that point.

The team that logs in, in administrative roles, includes about eight people, and I don't think they're in there that often. We're usually in there if there's a report of domains being blocked that shouldn't be blocked. For all intents and purposes, it is set-it-and-forget-it. It has been that simple. We don't go in there unless there is a very specific reason for taking a look at something.

For deployment, it was the networking team, so that everybody was aware of how it was set up. BloxOne doesn't require any maintenance because it's in the cloud and Infoblox is maintaining it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at BlueCat and Umbrella. We went with BloxOne because it integrates better with our system. The functionality also looked a little bit better than that of the other two products.

What other advice do I have?

If a colleague said to me that their next-gen firewall and other security tools mean that they don't need a DNS-specific security solution, I would say to them that, in my opinion, security is layers. Just because you have one layer doesn't mean that you can remove other ones. They work hand-in-hand.

Do a proof of concept for your environment, a test environment, to make sure that it does what you want it to do. And try to understand the categories that it has. Spend some time understanding the categories before you enable them or put them into production.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using BloxOne is patience. It is the cloud, so when you click on something you have to give it a little bit of time to do whatever it needs to do in the back end, before it actually gets implemented. You have to be patient.

I'm sure it would be able to integrate with our firewall company, Palo Alto. But, at the moment, we haven't needed to do that.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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TN
Principal Network Engineer at Pegasystems
Real User
Does a good job of identifying any threats in terms of data exfiltration

Pros and Cons

  • "Our ability to detect data exfiltration was minimal before Infoblox and the cloud portal was instituted for us. In terms of DNS security as a whole, we had some capability with our firewalls, but this is a lot more specialized because we're sending all of our DNS requests to Infoblox. I'd say we improved 100%."
  • "This is not just Infoblox, this could be any portal provider, cloud provider, sometimes they change the look of the customer-facing options and it's not completely clear why they make the change."

What is our primary use case?

We were already an Infoblox customer for IP address management, DNS, and DHCP and we decided to beef up our security in another avenue as far as the company and its network. So this is one area we got into with Infoblox because of their DNS security. I previously worked for another company in Boston that was an Infoblox customer, and on DNS security originally you had to set up a connection with Infoblox. The threat feeds that analyze the traffic, the customer had to receive those feeds. This is some years back when they first got into this.

So now, with Pegasystems we're doing the same thing, however, Infoblox is doing this in the cloud, which is infinitely better for a customer like us, meaning that they take in all the threat information and analyze our traffic. All we have to do is set up normal connections to the internet. It's like talking to another website. There's firewall security involved, but that's the most important thing for analyzing Infoblox, the fact that they provide this service out on the internet, in the cloud, is huge for us because they have the ability to synthesize a number of different sources for DNS security, put it in their secret sauce in their portal, and all we have to do is communicate with it and then they inspect our traffic. That is the most important thing for us as a customer. 

I realize that other companies do that as well, but because Infoblox is an important part of our network infrastructure it makes a lot of sense to do our DNS security with Infoblox. We're also a Palo Alto Firewall customer, and we have traffic that goes out to the internet. All of our traffic going out to the internet gets inspected by Palo Alto firewalls. They have a similar service, but we chose to partner with Infoblox because they're already in the DNS arena and have been for a number of years.

How has it helped my organization?

Our ability to detect data exfiltration was minimal before Infoblox and the cloud portal was instituted for us. In terms of DNS security as a whole, we had some capability with our firewalls, but this is a lot more specialized because we're sending all of our DNS requests to Infoblox. I'd say we improved 100%.

The actual communications that go on between our DNS appliances and the threat engines in the cloud, that traffic get logged by Infoblox, so that information is available in the cloud, and we also export logs to, we have a Splunk system. So in terms of data exfiltration, Infoblox does a good job of identifying any threats in that arena. Now, if something like that comes up and gets logged, it gets flagged by our Splunk system. I work in the network operations team, we have a security knock. If some kind of alert in that realm was logged, they would be alerted, meaning our security folks. Then if we need to take action on someone's machine or a server then it gets triggered from our security, security operations. I would rate the identification of data exfiltration with a high mark.

Our primary interoperability is with Splunk. The log feed into Splunk got set up right after we signed up for the portal. They go hand in hand. It's because our security team uses Splunk to analyze data. This means they get information from the portal, and they also get information from our individual appliances in the various offices as well.

BloxOne Threat Defense reduced the amount of effort involved in our SecOps teams when investigating events.

Our security staff has been added to significantly in the last few years. I started with Pega in 2017 when there were only a handful of security people, but we were a 5,000 employee company. I think we're probably around 6,000 now.  It wasn't just tools, they didn't have enough people to manage the security posture the way they are now. They basically created a whole new department. This platform is just one of many things that they receive data from.

Our monitoring and detection capability was minimal before we got into BloxOne. Now it's an improvement.

What is most valuable?

There's reporting and monitoring in the portal itself, and what customers can view. Additionally there are add-on programs specifically for Infoblox programs that go with Splunk. There are several tools available that add extra visibility.

Some of the tools that are involved with Splunk, Infoblox can be consulted on to help identify specific pieces of data that our security team is looking for. That's a plus because in this arena there's a lot of data that gets produced and making sense of it is the whole ballgame. Even though Splunk is not an Infoblox product, it's Splunk, but when our security folks receive data from Infoblox and they're not sure exactly how to massage it, there are content folks at Infoblox who help sort through stuff like that. The way that works is that we set up a call or a Webex/Zoom and just hash out with our security team exactly what they're trying to do.

If we had to take a look at where we are right now, Palo Alto is trying to get more business with us and at some point, we will probably take a look at what they offer in this space, which is just to get educated on the marketplace. The fact that we're a Palo Alto customer, we look to them to add value as well. I'm not saying we're changing anything right now, I'm just saying in our company because we're a big Palo Alto customer, we'll be looking at things they're going to be doing in the future as well.

We're using BloxOne strictly on the cloud version, but there are threat defense options that can be done with our onsite appliances into what Infoblox calls "the Grid". The Grid is just the collection of appliances that we have in the various offices, and there's a central management tool called the Grid Master where you can set up additional threat defense options, meaning you can inspect traffic even before it leaves the network. That's something we're going to be looking at as well. We're not doing it, but we're going to be looking at it.

Our initial activation in this arena, because it was so straightforward to just forward traffic right to the portal, which can be done in just a few minutes and actually have it inspect traffic in the first hour. It's not that we've precluded the onsite, but it's just something that we're looking at as a follow-up. We don't feel that we're at a major detriment, but it could improve some of the things we're doing if we do it onsite even before it gets to the cloud. Before they had the cloud portal you had to take in the threat feeds that they use or are available on the internet, and feed them into your own network, which makes it a lot more complicated.

That's still available. People will still do that, but we choose to use Infoblox and let them synthesize the threat feeds that they have access to.

What needs improvement?

This is not just Infoblox, this could be any portal provider, cloud provider, sometimes they change the look of the customer-facing options and it's not completely clear why they make the change.

It's not just cosmetic. I'll find things that they've moved around after they've done an upgrade. That's a valid criticism of any portal app because they don't poll every user to ask how you want to see the menu options. Everybody gets the same thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Infoblox since 2019.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate their technical support an eight out of ten. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The options for the appliances were clearly documented. The onsite logging is actually a virtual host in our network. The setup for that was pretty straightforward as well. There was good documentation.

It took basically one day to start communicating with the portal and verify that all the appliances were actually, in fact, sending data to the portal and their traffic was being inspected. It didn't take a whole day to set that up, most of the time was just, it was a few hours of setup and several hours of monitoring, just learning what to look for. But it was pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

Our on-sight Infoblox DNS DHCP appliances, which there are about 30 of them around the world, there's one screen of information where you put in the Infoblox cloud IP address, answer a few questions, then that triggers DNS forwarding to the Infoblox cloud portal. So when we send our DNS traffic out to the internet it goes to Infoblox first in order to get inspected. If for some reason a particular office or a particular appliance is unable to communicate with Infoblox at a particular time at that cloud IP, they're still able to forward DNS traffic directly to the internet as a backup. That can happen for normal communication disruption. It doesn't happen a lot, but at least our DNS queries don't stop completely if there's an interruption somewhere out on the internet. Which, again, doesn't happen often, but it's good to have available.

We do some configuration on our Infoblox appliances. On the user side of the portal, there are options for reporting and monitoring that get set up by the customer, but Infoblox sets up sessions with us whenever we ask. Initially, when we became a portal customer we received training from Infoblox, and if we want a refresher or we have somebody new who we want to go through the training they'll assist. What they usually do is have the local Infoblox team in Boston assist with that kind of training as well. 

It's not protocol agnostic. It's specifically analyzing DNS traffic. Now, if there's data inside the DNS traffic that is being used for non-DNS purposes, that's different. They are not analyzing other protocols, they are just analyzing DNS. So we use other tools to analyze other protocols, primarily firewalls.

I would rate Infoblox an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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