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Orca Security OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Orca Security is #3 ranked solution in top Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools, #7 ranked solution in Cloud Workload Security Solutions, and #8 ranked solution in top Vulnerability Management tools. IT Central Station users give Orca Security an average rating of 10 out of 10. Orca Security is most commonly compared to Wiz:Orca Security vs Wiz. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 27% of all views.
What is Orca Security?

Orca Security, the cloud security innovation leader, provides instant-on security and compliance for AWS, Azure, and GCP - without the gaps in coverage, alert fatigue, and operational costs of agents or sidecars.

Give your team superpowers and simplify cloud security operations with a single CNAPP platform for workload and data protection, cloud security posture management, vulnerability management, and compliance management. Instead of disparate tools operating in silos, Orca Security builds a graph that encompasses all cloud assets, software, connectivity, and trust - then prioritizes risk based on the severity of the underlying security issue, its accessibility, and business impact. This eliminates thousands of meaningless security alerts and helps you focus on what matters most.

With Orca Security, no code runs within your cloud environment. Orca SideScanning™ reads your cloud configuration and workloads’ runtime block storage out-of-band, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, and unsecured PII. There are no overlooked assets, no DevOps headaches, and no performance hits on live environments.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Orca Security Customers

Autodesk, BeyondTrust, Carta, Databricks, Druva, Duolingo, Fiverr, Live Oak Bank, News Corp, NCR, Payoneer, Robinhood, Unity, and USA Today.

Orca Security Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Orca Security pricing:
  • "The most expensive solution is Palo Alto. They claim to be very robust. The next most expensive is Wiz, followed by Orca and all the rest."
  • "It is the cost of the visibility that you get. When you really sit down and think about what do you need to do to secure an environment with a low impact on the business, and you take a look out into the world, I think this tool is well justified around cost."
  • "While it's competitive with Palo Alto Prisma, I think Orca's list price is very high. I would advise Orca to lower it because, at that price, I might consider alternatives like Wiz, which also offers agentless services."

Orca Security Reviews

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NR
CISO at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Agentless approach makes it simple, reducing the number of tools we use, while rankings helps focus our engineers

Pros and Cons

  • "Orca's SideScanning is the biggest feature. It's the 'wow' factor... With Orca's SideScanning, they just need permissions for your account and that makes it so simple."
  • "Another valuable feature with Orca, something that's not talked about enough, is its ability to rank your gaps and your tasks... You can get visibility with agents and there are a lot of ways to do that. But the ranking and the context across the entire environment, that is what is unique about Orca."
  • "I would be happy if they offered more automatic remediation options. They're working on that, but the more the better. For example, if they want you to harden a server, they would offer a hardening script that would be more aware of what's going on."
  • "Another improvement would be that, in addition to focusing on endpoint compliance, they would focus on general compliance."

What is our primary use case?

The first two things you need to do in security are to know what you have and keep it updated. If you can do that you're going to stop 90-plus percent of security attacks. That's our first use case. To know what we have and keep it updated. In general, it's really hard to do that in the cloud. It can take multiple systems and a lot of overhead to do it. That's one of the main things we use Orca for, so that we always know what we have and make sure it's updated.

On top of that, we use it to build things that have to do with our security posture. For example, are the ports that are supposed to be closed actually closed? For the data that's going through PII, is something open that shouldn't be? Are the permissions as they should be, per best practices? Is the compliance level correct for PCI and CIS, et cetera? There are many use cases around the posture of our environment, including the endpoints and the workloads. 

Overall, we use Orca for anything that has to do with making sure we check all the boxes and cover all our bases. It's a very core product for cloud security.

How has it helped my organization?

Orca is saving us at least one full-time role. As we scale, it will be more. When I started using Orca, we were a company of about 100 people. As we grow and get more complex, as our environment gets bigger, it saves us more time. It could be hours per account and hours per patching cycle. We're two years in with Orca and now we're somewhat spoiled because it's very seamless. But in the beginning it was very noticeable. There were all of those annoying tasks that I don't have to do anymore. I spent hours on Excel spreadsheets, frustrated by vulnerabilities that I didn't know what to do with. Now, I don't even have to look at spreadsheets. It saves our team hours and hours, especially in our field of Fintech, which is super-audited.

It also helps with hardening our posture by baselining everything in our workloads and servers against best practices. It gives you a path to improvement. Even if you don't have a glaring gap or an open port, you can always improve your security posture. By way of analogy, if you as a person don't stand up straight, you can work on standing up straight. But then you can also go to the gym and get stronger. There are levels to posture. You can stand straight but you can also become super-buff. The same thing is true with any other posture. Orca helps us take care of the gaps because we get notified very fast, but then we want to improve. Maybe we can take down some services that nobody is using and improve based on other best-practice baselines. Orca has done an amazing job of adding more and more.

Orca's platform provides agentless data collection directly from your cloud configuration, from the workloads, and from the servers running the workloads. The SideScanning ability can take a snapshot of an EC2 instance and they can do whatever they want with it because it's a snapshot. It's not being used by anyone, so nobody feels it. There is zero impact. Orca uses that to provide all this information and that's a great ability. They can do malware analysis and a lot of things that, in an agentless solution, it's hard to do. The lack of performance impact is important because, as a payments company, we can't try to pay Walmart and not be able to because the CISO decided to put some heavy agents in the backend. But another important aspect is that it keeps the maintenance and the overhead down. That is what excites me, aside from the performance. You can circumvent performance issues, but you need people to work on overhead-related tasks.

The agentless approach decreases the number of tools we have to use. Orca covers off a few posture-related tools. For example, Palo Alto has a few modules, a few tools, that you have to run together to give you similar value.

What is most valuable?

Orca's SideScanning is the biggest feature. It's the "wow" factor. There are a few other solutions with that kind of functionality, but before Orca, nobody would do it. They would say, "You just have to put an agent somewhere, and we have to read your logs," and there was a lot of overhead and you had to make sure you kept these requirements happening. You always had to configure things to work. With Orca's SideScanning, they just need permissions for your account and that makes it so simple. It just works. And you get the insights that are super important.

Another valuable feature with Orca, something that's not talked about enough, is its ability to rank your gaps and your tasks. The one resource that's very finite is your engineers' time. Every CISO has the same problem: they have engineers, but not enough of them, and their engineers don't have enough time. Because of these limitations, the engineers need to focus on the most important tasks, and they need help to do that. The fact that Orca can take something that looks like a 10 out of 10, a critical CVE, and say, "Wait a second. It's not that important, because of A, B, C, D, E, and F reasons. You can delay it for your next patching cycle. But this issue, the one that's only a CVE 7, is explosive on the internet." That kind of ranking is super important because of the limited resources and time. I need to make sure that everybody is focused on the most important things. The ability to see that, seamlessly, along with the ranking, makes Orca a very good product.

One thing that has been really surprising to me is its ability to give us container posture. Everybody is talking about containers and there are so many container-specific companies. At one point we were wondering if we needed a container solution. We talked to Orca and started testing what's out there, and we were surprised to see that Orca is very strong in containers as well, including Kubernetes and Docker. The way they see it, it all has to do with your posture and how secure you are. That's their goal: that you will have the most secure cloud possible, based on best practices.

The fact that it's a cloud solution is also important. In the same way that I'm happy that Amazon maintains data centers and I don't have to, and that a lot of my solutions are maintained by their engineers, Orca allows my team to focus on more relevant tasks. I don't want anything on-prem. I don't want my team to deal with anything if they don't have to. Anything that would require in-house maintenance for us, is a no-go. The only admin with Orca is when you have a new account or there is a change to your account. You have to configure the Orca with it, but you can run an automation that helps you out with it.

Orca is also very good at keeping our data safe and masking it and not picking anything they don't need to pick. In that sense, it's also good.

What needs improvement?

I would be happy if they offered more automatic remediation options. They're working on that, but the more the better. For example, if they want you to harden a server, they would offer a hardening script that would be more aware of what's going on.

I would also be happy if they added more and more coverage. The cloud itself is changing, with Amazon and Azure adding more and more capabilities. Orca is working really hard to meet the challenge, but the more they add, the better it is for me.

Another improvement would be that, in addition to focusing on endpoint compliance, they would focus on general compliance.

These are things that they're working on and their roadmap is very good. If they keep to the roadmap, I'm pretty sure they'll get to the places they want to get to. For instance, I really want them to add IAM permissions and they added that.

They know where they're going—they understand how to secure a cloud—and they keep growing in that direction.

One final suggestion I would add is for Orca to improve user education. A lot of times they have features and capabilities but they don't tell us about them. They don't even have a "What's New" newsletter. I have said to them, "Tell us what's going on. You've got a lot of cool stuff here. Why do I have to ask you? Let me know." If you have Google products, Google sends out a newsletter every week with new features. It's important to know that kind of information. It's also a marketing tool to let users know that they're constantly improving. Orca is constantly improving, but they don't always communicate that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Orca Security for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. As long as you get your daily results and they find the issues, it's not something where stability is super crucial. But it doesn't crash. The product works. There's a lot of information but it's not slow. I'm not saying there have never been any problems, but we have not been aware of any.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Orca is very scalable. So far it has grown with us easily. We have added a lot more accounts and a lot more endpoints. The bill has gone up accordingly, but it's there with us.

We're using it as extensively as possible as a security tool, to the point that it's being used every day by the cloud security team. It's one of that team's core products and they love it.

How are customer service and support?

They give very good support to us. We don't need a lot of support, but sometimes we get audited and the auditors want a certain kind of format to the report. They are really helpful on that. If we're not sure about something or we have a question about containers, they're always very helpful. When there has been a new vulnerability and we wanted to make sure we're covered, they have been there for us every time.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We had vulnerability system coverage but we had to work hard on it. What we didn't have was a good ranking of priorities. Prior to Orca, we were using traditional tools. Those tools do the job; they can scan your environment. But what they don't really give you is the ability to rank issues. Those solutions would scan and say, "We found 100 servers vulnerable to this CVE, so you should patch it." But what they don't tell you is that there's no patch, or that your servers are down so you don't even have to. The information from those solutions was missing context and the ranking. You can get visibility with agents and there are a lot of ways to do that. But the ranking and the context across the entire environment, that is what is unique about Orca.

With Orca, we have been able to replace all of the tools I just mentioned.

Consolidating those tools has saved us a lot of time, but not that much money. Generally, vulnerability scanning tools are pretty cheap. In the cloud, they are more expensive and their abilities are greater, but they're cheaper than Orca. So we didn't save a lot of money, but we saved a lot of time. We are able to do more with less, which is definitely worth money.

How was the initial setup?

Another huge advantage that comes from being agentless and having the SideScanning is that it all works out-of-the-box. You don't have to implement anything. It takes five minutes to turn on. It scans and you get the data. That's one of the things we love about it because it's reducing overhead and saving time.

Our business acquires companies and that means we add more accounts, so we have to set up Orca for those accounts. It's a matter of five minutes to give the proper permissions and the proper key and you're in. It's very straightforward.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen ROI from Orca by reducing overhead and saving time. It's a huge ROI. We see it daily.

Cloud security engineers are hard to hire because there aren't a lot of experienced people out there. So you bring in juniors and all they have to do is "follow the yellow brick road." They just have to go on Orca, see what it says, and do it. When it gives remediation suggestions, they just need to go ahead and do that. Theoretically, you only need to be a little bit of an IT specialist to use it. You could be a system administrator who has never seen Amazon before, but you'll have 85 to 90 percent of the knowledge you'll need about what to do just by going to Orca. That's huge. You don't have to teach them how to SSH to the server to check this or to check that. It's all there. The simplicity is a giant ROI.

Cloud security engineers are expensive. If I save having to hire one cloud security engineer positionץ The vendors know it and that's why these tools aren't cheap. They price it expensively, because they know they give a lot of ROI. 

With Orca, the time to value is immediate. The second it scans, that's it. It's a whole new ball game, thanks to it being agentless and providing the rankings.

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

With Orca, there are no costs in addition to their standard licensing fees. There are no networking costs or extra bills for compute.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We put Orca up against all the incumbent vendors. Orca beat them easily. When it was up for renewal, we were looking at Orca versus the other leaders offering the same abilities. Again, Orca proved to be the most mature and the strongest product.

The agentless aspect of Orca is a big pro. And I really like the simplicity of Orca. It has a lot of options, but the way you experience it as an engineer, it's very easy to understand. You know what you have to do and what's important. The other systems proved to be complex. 

When I was looking for a posture management solution and they said, "This is agentless, it's amazing." My thoughts were, "Oh yeah? That's baloney. How can it even be agentless?" I was shocked. I said to my engineers, "If this actually works in the demo, it's going to be a game-changer for cloud security," and it was.

I also feel Orca's ranking system is much more mature. All the others show you a lot of things that they mark as important, but they aren't important. That means there could be 200 things to take care of but if you drill down, they're sort of like false positives, meaning "it's important, but it can wait." Orca would rank those kinds of issues a "medium." It would let you feel that they can wait a little bit, as opposed to things that are "high" and "critical."

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I've learned from using Orca is that agents suck. Until you see the difference, you're just not aware of how much time you spend on that stuff. Another lesson is how important the ranking is that Orca provides. They should blow that up and emphasize it a lot more. They always talk about the agentless side, but the fact that they can prioritize tasks is equally important. A lot of tools do that, but Orca is exceptionally good at it.

If somebody were looking into Orca, I would ask how his stack is built, how much on-prem he has versus cloud, and which cloud? I would recommend it wholeheartedly if he has a cloud presence. It's the go-to posture management tool. Start with Orca and test them. It's always good to have a PoC, understand the pros and cons, and make an educated buy. But I would definitely recommend Orca to anybody who has substantial data or substantial risk in the cloud.

We really enjoy using Orca. It's a very well-designed, well-executed product. I'm really super-impressed. This is a game-changer. This approach has never been done; at least, I haven't seen anything like it. Kudos to them.

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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MM
Chief Risk Officer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Provides good visibility, improves security, scales well, and the interface is easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "Orca provides X-ray vision into everything within the cloud properties, whereas normally, this would require multiple tools."
  • "As with all software, the user interface can always be made simpler to use. It would be helpful for people with very little knowledge, like somebody sitting behind the SOC, to allow them to be able to drill down into things a little bit easier than it is currently."

What is our primary use case?

We use Orca Security in the cloud to protect all of our cloud-based AWS applications.

It secures all of our perimeter and AWS, as well as all of our databases, applications, and transport. For every facet of AWS, right down to operating systems, we use Orca to take a look at it.

How has it helped my organization?

Orca provides the capability for agentless data collection directly from your cloud configuration and from the workloads' runtime block storage, which is one of the massive advantages of the tool. The tool gives us the ability to monitor things as we spin them up and as we tear them down. I can't state emphatically enough how important the agentless tool is.

For example, when most people move their applications from on-premises to the Cloud, which is what we in IT call a forklift, they just copy it over or re-create it there. Very seldom do people actually re-engineer or re-architect their applications to take full advantage of the cloud.

With the cloud, you can create serverless applications and serverless databases, so that when you need something you can spin it up and use it. When you don't need it, you can tear it down or destroy it so that it's gone. This not only saves money and is very efficient but from a security perspective, it's critical because every time you have something running somewhere, it could be attacked. This is what is referred to as an attack surface.

By using serverless tools and agentless monitoring, you can tear it down when you're done and that reduces your attack surface dramatically. Without a tool like Orca, that's agentless, you would not be able to do that. You would have to install software on the application and keep it running in order to monitor it, which really defeats the whole purpose of the cloud.

In terms of performance, because it's agentless, it's not stealing cycles from your application. It's not what's called a heavy application.

The agentless and direct collection of data enables Orca to see assets within its environmental and business contexts and prioritize truly critical security issues. This is one of the huge advantages of Orca. It sees everything in the environment and through its AI, properly categorizes what the threats are and shows them to you in a much better way. It aggregates all of the alerts and determines what's really important, and then shows them to you. It greatly reduces the need for additional staff to pore through all of the alerts to try and determine what's real, what's critical, and what the real problems are. It does all of that work for you.

Prior to Orca, our cloud visibility was perhaps 20% of what it is now. This is the reason that we were delaying moving to the cloud. The additional coverage has allowed us to move critical applications to the web that we had been holding off on because of the lack of cloud visibility. We have now moved multiple critical applications and we're able to view them in a way that we would not have been able to without Orca.

An important thing to consider is that Orca is a one-size-fits-all solution, which is very rare in the security world where everything is piecemeal. Normally, to protect something, you need five or six different tools or products. In this case, one product gives you all of the visibility that you need for your landscape, into all of your cloud properties. It is really the best of all worlds.

It's critically important to keep things simple, and it helps that Orca has everything included out-of-the-box. You only need one tool and it's helpful because there are so many security solutions on the market that a lot of security people get confused and they end up with products that overlap each other. Part of the reason for this is that all of the security solutions are trying to expand into other areas, and become more useful on the whole.

When you end up with these overlaps in products, it confuses people including end-users and support staff. Oftentimes, you end up with redundancy or things that conflict because the software isn't designed to be compatible with all of the other tools that are out there in the market. You end up with a messy collage of tools trying to accomplish something and it doesn't work well. It ends up with gaps, overlaps, and it just creates problems for security.

With Orca, it's as if they took a whiteboard and set out to fix all of that, and do everything in one tool. What they built architecturally is a beautiful, simple, and easy-to-use product. 

We are frequently audited by our clients, which are Fortune companies in the finance, automotive, utility, and telecom industries. They audit us from a security perspective quite frequently. By using Orca, we can prove to them that we are secure in all of the core areas that they're looking at.

Like a lot of cloud SaaS tools, which is the new generation of technology, you expect things to be automatically updated for you. It's like using Chrome, where when you decide to take an update, you don't have to pay for it. You assume that the company behind the product is constantly updating it on your behalf. This is a model that is critically important from a security perspective.

Imagine buying an antivirus product and the company says that they're not giving you updates until you pay for them. A lot of companies do that but more of the newer companies will instead license you the product for a year or two at a time. During the license period, you get all of your version updates and everything you need. It's included and it's done automatically. That's the model that Orca chose and from a security perspective, it's the best model for a customer like me.

What is most valuable?

Orca provides X-ray vision into everything within the cloud properties, whereas normally, this would require multiple tools. As an analogy, for on-premises equipment, you would need different tools to be able to see the performance of a system, determine what versions of software applications are installed, and look at the security. You would need yet another one to give you a holistic view of all of the hardware inside of the system.

From this one platform, we can get visibility right down into the hardware through all of the applications, and through the operating system. One application provides an entire view of our security. Gartner coined the name Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform, in reference to this product, because Orca created did not exist previously. Orca literally invented a whole new way to view security in the cloud.

Because the interface is so simple, you don't need people that have tons of experience. You can take a lower-level person and give them basic instructions on what to watch for. If anything comes up with a high-level or medium-level alert, then they have to contact somebody else. It's literally that easy.

What needs improvement?

As with all software, the user interface can always be made simpler to use. It would be helpful for people with very little knowledge, like somebody sitting behind the SOC, to allow them to be able to drill down into things a little bit easier than it is currently.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Orca Security for approximately two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had a single stability issue. From my perspective, it's awesome.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is built into the product. We've scaled this pretty tremendously up and down as we've needed to, based on serverless needs across VPCs, across servers, and across various instances. It scales perfectly across our environment.

It monitors all of our AWS instances. We give it everything. In fact, as we add more and more to the cloud, Orca is there already, ready to protect us, so we're scaling it. Every month we add more to it.

How are customer service and support?

We have been in touch with technical support a few times. It's been very few and far between but it was to ask about the meaning of some of the error messages that we saw.

I would rate the technical support a nine out of ten. We don't use it very much and as such, I don't have enough touchpoints to be able to assess it. I'm leery about rating something the highest possible score without having enough visibility into it.

There was a situation where we provided feedback to the vendor and they incorporated it into the product very quickly. We were very surprised that they listened and acted upon it so quickly and I think that this is more important than support because no product is perfect. They were eager to improve their product because they strive to be better. I can't say enough good things about them.

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

There was nothing on the market, anything like their solution, prior to Orca coming along. It literally created a whole new category. It was the right tool at the right time and they had the vision to create it.

We were using a myriad of bolt-on tools at the time, to try to cobble things together, but we never really accomplished very much using them. That is why we went looking for the product that we did. Ultimately, we weren't moving anything to the cloud because we couldn't find the visibility that we wanted.

In order to move to the cloud, you need a tool like Orca to have visibility of all of your real estate, architecture, and applications that are out there. Without it, you literally have gaps you don't know about and you are running blind. It's like running with blinders on and you can only see where you're looking, versus being able to look 360 degrees around you. It gives you that level of visibility. It's truly X-ray visibility.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was amazingly easy. You don't have to really do anything outside of creating an account with them. It was absolutely simplistic. It exceeded our expectations from an installation perspective. It couldn't be easier.

Because there are no agents, you have no deployment time. Another beauty of it is that you don't have to sit there and try to install agents on every device and every server and every application and every instance or every VPC. It's just automatically done.

Once you give them access and they scan your environment, it's done for you. You don't have to do anything at all. It learns about your environment. You don't have to install anything, so it saves your time because you really don't do anything at all. It's the way that all software should be. They should do all of their learning on their own without you having to install things the whole way.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it with our in-house team.

What was our ROI?

This product has saved us tremendous amounts of time and money.

I would just say that you're doing yourself, your business, and your customers a disservice if you're not using Orca, or a tool like it, that provides a deep X-ray-like view into your environment to properly secure it.

We would not be in the cloud or have as much in the cloud without this tool. It's really a precursor to moving anything major into the cloud. In that regard, it's our future. Cloud is our future and without Orca carrying that future, we can't do the things that we want to do. It's very difficult for me to put a return on investment on it because it's so intertwined with everything that we do. We wouldn't be able to do the things that we do without it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our search for this product began because we wanted to move to the cloud and we knew that we were vulnerable if we moved up there. We didn't have the visibility that we needed so I actually went looking for this solution. I looked throughout the industry. I talked to everybody I knew and there was nothing. Everybody was cobbling solutions together, trying to achieve some sort of visibility.

A lot of people didn't even know that they were vulnerable or that they had gaps. We did and we saw it. We figured it out and we went looking for a solution.

Coincidentally, I was speaking with somebody at a conference who had recently learned about Orca and they told me about the product. Within a couple of months, he put me in contact with their co-founder and we entered discussions from that point.

What other advice do I have?

The analogy that I like to use when discussing Orca is similar to that of purchasing a used house. When you look at it from the street or after doing a walkthrough, you have no idea what is going on under the floors, or above the ceiling, or behind the walls. There can be all kinds of problems like faulty wiring or leaking plumbing, and you wouldn't know that they existed. This is where the beauty of Orca and the X-ray vision comes in.

You can see all of these things right down to the chip that's used in your cloud instance. It's literally an amazing perspective that to my knowledge, no other tool prior to Orca provided. In my analogy about the house, there is no tool that you can use to see behind everything before you buy a house. However, with Orca, you can see everything.

Everything is laid bare to you before you move your apps up there, or once you move them to the cloud and you begin to build out your real estate. Without a tool like Orca, you're flying blind like a pilot in an airplane without radar. You just can't do that.

When I first looked at Orca, I was somewhat skeptical about whether it could do everything that they claimed. In fact, I'm always skeptical to a degree. In this case, it's different. It literally blew me away based on what I could see. If I consider the analogy of the house, I expected to be able to see under the floor. What I didn't expect was to be able to see behind all of the walls and through the ceiling and through the roof and into the basement, and everywhere. I thought to myself that we couldn't live without this tool. That's how good it is.

If I could rate this product a 15 out of 10, I would. It has well exceeded my expectations and I remember that when I first looked at the Orca environment, I thought that it was amazing. I was able to click, drill down, do everything that I wanted to be able to do, and more.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
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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Find out what your peers are saying about Orca Security, Wiz, Palo Alto Networks and others in Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM). Updated: December 2021.
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JR
CISO at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
I just drop Orca in and it shows me the abstract risk of everything in that cloud, forming the basis of my security program

Pros and Cons

  • "The visibility Orca provides into my environment is at the highest level... When I dropped them into the environment, from the very get-go I had more insight into the risks in my environment than I had had during the entire two and a half years I had been here."
  • "There were a couple of times when Orca was down when I was trying to access it. I work strange hours because all of my team is in the UK right now. It was 2 a.m. on a Saturday and I was trying to log in but it wasn't working. But relative to my other security tools, Orca is definitely the most stable that I've seen."

What is our primary use case?

Orca is the inceptive tool that I deploy when I join a company. It will be one of the first things I do after an awareness training program. The reason is that Orca serves the function of giving me insights into the resting risk state, abstractly, because it combines so many signals without actually having to govern the assets. As soon as I have access to the AWS or GCP or Azure accounts, I just drop Orca in and it shows me the abstract risk of everything in that cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Orca, I build up a security program. Orca not only attests to and assesses these risks and helps me identify risks that need to be mitigated, but it also helps me build an entire security program because it does it —and this is key—in a deterministic fashion, where it's wholly governing the ecosystem.

Orca’s platform provides agentless data directly from your cloud configuration with zero performance impact. The way they do it is brilliant: They pull snapshots. So it just cannot affect the performance of the machine. From my understanding, the snapshot process in the major clouds is completely benign and does not affect the performance. First of all, that means it can analyze machines that I don't have access to. That in itself is the most game-changing thing I have seen, not just in security but in technology, in my 25-year career. Agents are a huge problem in security. They're necessary for certain things, but even if an agent doesn't cause performance issues it's not about having performance issues. It's about the perception, the concern, the fear, the accountability, and the confidence in the tool because of the small risk of those performance issues being caused.

Orca does more than allow you to see assets within their environmental and business contexts to prioritize critical security issues. The trend in security over the last two or three years ago has been to raise risks that are real. But Orca is doing more than that. Orca combines all these signals to aggregate risk. There is a discipline that they exercise in the way they process all the signals together. Whenever there is an Orca alert that there is an imminent compromise or an actual compromise, which are the two highest severities out of four, they're actionable, every time. We might have encountered a couple that weren't actionable, out of a couple of hundred. 

What is most valuable?

The visibility Orca provides into my environment is at the highest level. I was super skeptical about Orca when I interviewed the Orca team. When they told me that you can just drop their software in and you don't need to log in to the machines, nor do they need to be powered on, I said, "How the heck are you doing that?" When they told me how it worked I said, "Woah, that's pretty simple. Why didn't I think of that?" When I dropped them into the environment, from the very get-go I had more insight into the risks in my environment than I had had during the entire two and a half years I had been here.

What needs improvement?

I'm thinking about room for improvement that is really grand, in terms of ways that may not be possible. I like to partner with innovators and that's why I partnered with Orca. I don't think what I have in mind is possible—but I didn't think Orca was possible either when I met them. 

If they could disrupt the host intrusion detection space (HIDS) that would be huge. If I could have them assess risk in real-time—which does not seem possible from the block storage analysis perspective—and they could figure that out without an agent, there would be no need for other security tools except for CI/CD pipeline analysis. 

I'm thinking about "omniscient" and "omnipresent." That's what Orca does from a resting state risk standpoint. It's the "all-seeing eye." If it could do that from an active state standpoint in real-time, or even to the second, minute, or hour, that would be big stuff. If they could crack that I don't know what would stop them from dominating the market completely.

On a more practical level, Orca doesn't work in data centers right now. If a company has a large data center footprint, Orca is not necessarily the best solution for that business. If 20 percent of my risk lies in the cloud, and 80 percent is in data centers, I should probably go with an agent-based solution, assuming I can deploy it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We became an Orca customer in February of 2020. We use their SaaS solution which is deployed on the three major public clouds.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were a couple of times when Orca was down when I was trying to access it. I work strange hours because all of my team is in the UK right now. It was 2 a.m. on a Saturday and I was trying to log in but it wasn't working. That was pretty bad. What if I was trying to attend to an emergency security issue?

But relative to my other security tools, Orca is definitely the most stable that I've seen.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is deployed everywhere in our company. It is a requirement that when we build a cloud or we have a new business joining the company, that it be deployed at inception. It is one of the very first things that I require before any integration is done.

How are customer service and support?

We have used their technical support, but we haven't needed it very much.

When Orca was a very early stage startup and they were working out the kinks, one of our clouds, GCP, was not as easy to deploy in because we have 400 workloads running there. We didn't ask for any support but their CEO stepped up, worked all night, and did it himself.

Orca is focusing on what is right when it comes to customer success. Every business has a limited amount of resources and has to take a certain amount of risk. They didn't build a sales team until pretty late in the game. That speaks to why they're respected so much in the industry. They have a relatively new customer success team, maybe because they haven't had a need for it. When I encounter a problem I will want to put it to the test. I think they'll do pretty well. They have scaled up a bit.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We did not have a previous solution. Before I had Orca, my option for governing at the level that Orca governs was to use network TAP devices from companies like ExtraHop Networks, but they're not capable of gleaning the information that Orca can.

How was the initial setup?

Deploying it only takes a couple of minutes and it hasn't required any maintenance at all. It's so easy to deploy that you can switch away from it pretty easily too. I just don't know anyone who wants to. The stickiness is only in their excellence. For the consumer that's a win-win.

For our deployment they brought in a junior CSM who was brilliant, a wonderful CSM. I was pressuring him and making him very nervous, but he explained the install process: "You copy this URL and paste it here." My DevOps engineer who was onsite messaged me and said, "It's actually really easy. We just put the card in and it was installed two minutes later."

What was our ROI?

It wasn't very important to me that Orca’s solution includes everything “out-of-the-box." But it was certainly a positive thing to have. My view on security is that I'll deploy something that nobody else has emulated. I'll have a very big, cumbersome stack to manage because I want to support excellence in each space. I believe in the Unix philosophy: Do one thing and do it well. But Orca is doing a lot of things well. I can't deny that. And that means I haven't secured some of these other solutions because it does things well. It's among the best cloud configuration auditing software there is. It has replaced a couple of things that were in my environment and avoided the need for an additional couple of things that would be in my environment. One of them is a portion of host intrusion detection, and that has enabled me to move to a solution that is half the cost. That particular move has saved me about $450,000. That's not my total spend in Orca but it's close to it.

Also, it is updated daily and new features are available at no additional cost. It's a "it just works" thing. And it actually mitigates the need for human expenses of around $80,000 a year in payroll. When you factor in the 1.4 times overhead for human resources, that's going to be $112,000 a year and the perceived liability of the company is probably three times that. We're looking at a replacement of $336,000 a year.

In addition, the time to value is better than any other security product in the market. Even if I wanted somebody else to do all the work, I would have to give them more information than I need to give Orca. It would take a couple of hours to filter the data for a mid-sized company, whereas Orca literally installed in two minutes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I called my security team and we were talking about all the various players in the security space, and all the technical aspects. They were saying, "Orca does this, Orca does that," going on about it. I don't really see Orca as being the next Palo Alto displacer, but that's probably because I'm super skeptical. But that's how amazing the governance is. My security said, "Yeah, Orca is the tool that we use, even though you made us PoC all these other solutions."

I spoke with someone who knows the space well and I said, "Okay, Steve, please help me here. You guys know this field. Is there anything else that competes with Orca in this space?" I believe this was before Wiz was on peoples' radars. Steve said, "No, I haven't heard of anything else." I was worried that I would spend all this money on a tool that did something that doesn't exist but it turned out it actually existed.

Every CSO says they don't want false positives, but what CSOs never say is, "I don't want to have false negatives." That bothers me. They're happy because a solution doesn't say, "You need to fix this thing" when it doesn't need to be fixed. But they're ignoring the fact that solutions are not identifying things that do need to be fixed. That's where Orca comes in perfectly. By running it in tandem with my HIDS or some other system, it's validating or invalidating the attestation of security risks from the other software. I had one solution that never gave me any false positives but it did give me a lot of false negatives. After Orca exposed that, I was no longer a customer of that product.

Because I had Orca first and it attested to the risk, it demonstrated the need to employ their competitor. If I had deployed their competitor first, it would not have attested to that risk and the need to deploy Orca. Orca justifies the spend, a multi-hundred-thousand-dollar spend by a mid-sized company on one of their known competitors. That's cool because that means it's not really a competitor.

Whenever people ask me what Orca does, and I say vulnerability assessment, I always say, "But that is really downplaying it." We use Nexus to do vulnerability scanning, which costs almost nothing. But I have almost never acted on a single alert from Nexus because there are so many false positives and the risk categorization is not very good.

What other advice do I have?

I was skeptical about whether it could do all the things they say it can do, and now that I have used it I would say to that skeptic: "Continue to be a skeptic." But the skepticism was blown away by Orca very quickly, at every single turn, on every single angle, and at every single opportunity. Orca destroyed my skepticism. But you have to be skeptical. Still, I would also say to that skeptic: "Just give it a shot. It takes two minutes to deploy." If I had just done that, I would have saved myself time.

Orca is much better than their competitor. They're the best in their space. They're the best in the security tool industry. And they're probably the best in terms of companies that I've worked with in general. Are they the best in mitigating actual risk versus the investment? I will always have to say that security awareness training, not as a service but as an abstract concept, is the best thing that we can do in security. Orca might help with awareness training by being so simple. I can use Orca to make technical leaders aware of security issues.

But technical leaders aren't the ones who need to be made aware of security issues. It's the general staff and public. That means customers and employees. Orca falls right in behind security awareness training. What CSOs out there need to do to make the greatest impact on their company is to get up on stage and tell people why security matters. But in all other areas, Orca is definitely the best. The first thing I'm going to spend my money on is Orca. I can do awareness training for free just by being vocal onstage. Orca requires no time. It doesn't compete with awareness training because I can do that while Orca is spending its time attesting to the pragmatic technical risks in my cloud environment.

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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Ty Sbano
Chief Security & Trust Officer at SiSense
Real User
Provides visibility into all of our cloud-based environments and allows us to gather really specific intelligence through simple queries

Pros and Cons

  • "With its Cloud Security Posture Management capability, we have the ability to read across all of our cloud-based environments, which includes AWS and Azure. We have visibility into those environments. Seeing all vulnerabilities and configurations is really powerful for us, but ultimately, the ability to use the API to query across the fleet to understand what is the current state, what is the patch level, which ones are potentially exposed for a new CVE that just came out is even more valuable. It allows us to gather really specific intelligence through simple queries."
  • "They can expand a little bit in anti-malware detection. While we have pretty good confidence that it's going to detect some of the static malware, some of the detections are heuristics. There could be a growth in the library from where they're pulling their information, but we don't get a lot of those alerts based on the design of our products. In general, that might be an area that needs to be filled since they offer it as a service within it."

What is our primary use case?

With Orca, the main thing that we're leveraging is their Cloud Security Posture Management capability. 

It is a SaaS solution.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides the assurance that we have coverage across AWS specifically because we have so many accounts. As a large organization, we have prod environments for customers, and then we have our corporate environments and our playground environments where there are various levels of interactions, data flows, and business use cases. Because we have Orca, we have the competence and assurance that we know where our fleet and where our assets are.

The big thing for us was just making sure that the side channel scanning, which is their proprietary tech, does not really create any burden or load by adding an agent onto the box. It should just do another snapshot. It gives us a better performance overall because there is no implication down to the actual environment or AWS.

It provides agentless data directly from our cloud configuration and from the workload's runtime block storage. The agentless approach means that there is zero performance impact. That's kind of a big part. When you typically add an agent to any system, it's going to use some of the compute or the memory, but this has no performance implications. That part is exciting because when you think of the security realm, often, as a team out of the cost center and a business enabler, there are situations where if we do affect performance, it's not great for the business. So, we have the understanding and the Corporate EQ that we don't want to have any impact on performance. This enables us again with the confidence that we're getting the right information out without having that impact down to our engineers or our production support.

The agentless and direct collection of data enable Orca to see assets within our environmental and business contexts and prioritize truly critical security issues. It provides another notch up on confidence in terms of knowing what's in our production environment and having the ability to rapidly query in case there's a new CVE that's coming up. So if we know there is a drop in data, we have the ability to scan and see the assets and do the patch management as necessary or tear down boxes that don't need to be up there anymore. With the way it works, having visibility across the org is hands down the biggest benefit for us.

The agentless approach also means that we're able to avoid the need to deploy and maintain multiple tools.

What is most valuable?

With its Cloud Security Posture Management capability, we have the ability to read across all of our cloud-based environments, which includes AWS and Azure. We have visibility into those environments. Seeing all vulnerabilities and configurations is really powerful for us, but ultimately, the ability to use the API to query across the fleet to understand what is the current state, what is the patch level, which ones are potentially exposed for a new CVE that just came out is even more valuable. It allows us to gather really specific intelligence through simple queries.

Given the agentless deployment, its time-to-value is less than 24 hours. It took less than 24 hours, and we had intelligence and insight. Ultimately, it is getting access to the API, and then from there, it is about getting the side channel scanning going on. Once that is complete, the real-time proprietary nature of new assets pops up. We also have the visibility if an old asset has been sitting out there unused for a really long time.

What needs improvement?

They can expand a little bit in anti-malware detection. While we have pretty good confidence that it's going to detect some of the static malware, some of the detections are heuristics. There could be a growth in the library from where they're pulling their information, but we don't get a lot of those alerts based on the design of our products. In general, that might be an area that needs to be filled since they offer it as a service within it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the Orca solution for about a year and a half. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It had maybe two periods of downtime if my memory serves me correctly, but it was hard to even know that the service was down because we weren't actively querying during those windows. These downtimes were probably for less than a few hours. I read about them through an email from the founder. We wouldn't have even noticed them if they didn't update us on it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We started with our production account, and then we kept scaling to our test environments, to our corporate environments, ultimately to every AWS account that we have out there. It is being used as extensively as we can in our environment. We have about 14 AWS accounts. If we need more environments, it will be included as part of the practice.

How are customer service and support?

Luckily, we have a shared Slack channel. So, we have an extended Slack channel, and we're in there with the founders, as well as key engineers and members. So, it's real-time for us. If we have an issue, we go in and just message out, and then we can have that full loop within that Slack channel. We were customer number nine, and having this Slack channel was just something that made sense at the time.

I would rate them a 10 out of 10. We get everything addressed pretty quickly.

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

In terms of vulnerability assessment coverage, a lot of it was native tooling. We were using AWS GuardDuty across the environment as step one for anomaly detection, but for vulnerability management, there was very limited capacity.  We could leverage some of the existing tools that were out there to scan and perform analysis, but in reality, we're using a lot of what AWS offers. So, for the most part, it was native AWS tooling with GuardDuty and then just doing our best to query the fleet through AWS itself. Orca has really filled the gap for us.

How was the initial setup?

Because of its agentless nature, there is zero deployment time. It is mostly just getting the connection and performing the analysis. The deployment strategy is mostly, "Choose the accounts that are there and then hookup Orca." It took less than 24 hours, and we had intelligence and insight. 

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

It is the cost of the visibility that you get. When you really sit down and think about what do you need to do to secure an environment with a low impact on the business, and you take a look out into the world, I think this tool is well justified around cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at a few other tools out there. Dome9 and Lacework were the big key ones that were out there. There were some of the old heavy hitters, but they really didn't add a ton of value to what we were looking for. Some of them were just AWS GuardDuty on steroids. 

For us, Orca just offered a better comprehensive solution. We had done enough demos and discussions, and we felt like, "Hey, it's worth the gamble on someone that's trying to solve something and maybe we can help drive the backlog or some of the features as well by being an early customer". That's a part of our strategy when it comes to choosing security solutions. It definitely fits our business needs.

When choosing to go with Orca, the fact that it is a SaaS solution that is updated daily, and that new features are available at no additional cost was useful for us. That's the way it should be. There shouldn't be paywalls and all these other things. You're paying for the proprietary technology of the company and how they kind of package that up. They've been very open in terms of what features are available when and how they work.

When we first looked at Orca, we weren't skeptical about whether it could do all the things that they said it can do. That's because the way it was presented was very logical in terms of how they instrumented the technological approach, and then the background of the founders made a lot of sense. So, either it was going to work, or it wasn't going to work, and if it didn't work, then we'd have an issue. When we did a PoC, it worked very well for us in a short window of time, and we had the confidence that this was going to be the right tool for us.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to not just set it and forget it. This is an ongoing capability. Just like every vulnerability management process, it is an ongoing continuous cycle. So, I wouldn't leverage this for one-time use or quarterly use. This is real-time that you should be analyzing, and on top of that, as new vulnerabilities are set, use the search function.

Everything is included in Orca’s package, but Orca hasn't helped us to consolidate vendors or services. That's because we weren't replacing any existing ones. We didn't have six other things doing what they were doing. We were venturing out into a solution that has not ever been in place and figuring out exactly how to integrate it, how to leverage, and ultimately how to level up the organization.

I would rate this solution a 10 out of 10.

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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Jonathan Jaffe
CISO at Lemonade Inc.
Real User
Allows agentless data collection directly from the cloud

Pros and Cons

  • "Orca's dashboard is excellent. My team needs to be able to focus on specific areas for improvement in our cloud environment. And most recently, we've started to get good use out of sonar, the search capabilities, and the alert creation."
  • "I think Orca could give me more alerts. It could give me a dashboard with all the specific types of alerts I want to see for the day. It should just be one click."

What is our primary use case?

We're using Orca Security to identify threats and vulnerabilities, manage our cloud security posture, and alert us to CSPM and threat issues.

How has it helped my organization?

Orca has improved our security by helping us address high-risk threats first. I don't have to spend time determining the risk myself because Orca does that. Now we can resolve issues based on absolute risk, which is a huge relief. 

If we see an SSH key put up onto an externally facing machine by a developer, Orca will notify us, and we can deal with it immediately. Our other products don't tell us about that.

What is most valuable?

Orca's dashboard is excellent. My team needs to be able to focus on specific areas for improvement in our cloud environment. Most recently, we've started to get good use out of sonar, the search capabilities, and the alert creation. We plan on using that to automate notifications and remediations. So we have high hopes for that, but we haven't used much of that yet.

The visibility Orca provides is excellent. Orca allows agentless data collection directly from the cloud, so I assume there is no performance impact. It's important for a product not to get in the way of performance, but it's not my biggest concern. I mainly care about coverage. It was important for us to have a SaaS solution, but it wasn't critical. We prefer not to manage a service ourselves, so it matters.

What needs improvement?

Orca could give me more alerts. It could give me a dashboard with all the specific types of alerts I want to see for the day. It should just be one click. This is one area where I feel Datadog is better. Datadog has something called Security Signals, where they give you a dashboard, and you can structure it by the day or specify a period. It just tells you the different security signals that have occurred with a very obvious risk designation by color. That makes it easier than Orca's current view. So I think Orca could improve its interface.

Another shortcoming of Orca is that it doesn't integrate with our particular non-standard ticketing system. So we have to finish developing an appropriate webhook for it. Other than that, it's integrated well with our identity provider and with our cloud environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Orca Security since 2019, but my company has been using it since 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've never had an issue at all with it for as long as I've been running Orca. So I'm confident that it's perfectly stable and can handle the load.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not seen any issues with scalability because our scale increases in a nonlinear way. Primarily, Orca is used only for security, so a handful of people—fewer than five—are using it. The roles are mainly cloud security engineers, and some DevOps people sometimes use it.

We use it to monitor all of our cloud environments. So our usage is extensive, and it will monitor all of our cloud environments as we increase our cloud size.

How are customer service and support?

Orca's support is extremely responsive and competent.

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

I used Lacework previously, and Orca is much better. My biggest concern is coverage. With Orca, I feel confident that I have full coverage of all of my resources. When I had Lacework, I found out that wasn't the case. I'm wary of any agent-based service like Lacework because we consistently fail to cover resources when the agents aren't applied correctly. I compared Lacework to Orca by running them side by side for several months. Lacework failed to cover about 23 percent of our resources.

What's more, Lacework required way too much effort to dig through the hundreds — if not thousands — of false positives. In effect, we got zero value out of it. We could never resolve an issue, which means the issue just sat there forever because there were so many false positives. And the way Lacework presents information was very difficult to use. It was a useless product.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Orca is straightforward. It took almost no effort. It was just a matter of doing the read-only integration for various accounts. That took less than two hours of someone's time. We started seeing results immediately.

The fact that Orca is agentless is a significant reason it was easy to deploy. It didn't require me to test it in different environments by DevOps. All of those things would've added up a couple of weeks to the deployment time. Instead, it only required the security team to do a pretty easy integration with our cloud environments. And because there's no impact, there is no heavy testing required, so we got it done in a couple of hours.

What was our ROI?

We've seen a return on investment insofar as that can be measured for an essential tool. We're not planning on giving Orca up, but it all depends on the price of competitors like Wiz. If their price drops and it's significantly cheaper than Orca, it's easy to switch. Also, the time to value for Orca was immediate — 24 hours — so it's much better than other solutions. With Lacework, it took at least a month before we saw any value, and then the value was extremely low.

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

While it's competitive with Palo Alto Prisma, I think Orca's list price is very high. I would advise Orca to lower it because, at that price, I might consider alternatives like Wiz, which also offers agentless services. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We weren't using Datadog for security before Orca. We were using Orca. Datadog, of which we're a customer, started offering security in February. We used Datadog as a design partner, and I like aspects of it. But now that they're charging for it, we won't continue to use it. Datadog is overpriced for what it offers, and Orca gives us what we need. Orca tells us about vulnerabilities in a straightforward, manageable way. We haven't had many active threats, but Orca can also tell us about those. Datadog has something they call the workload security component, which is their agent-based component, and we found that to be very immature and inaccurate. We had to turn it off because it gave us so many false positives it was overwhelming us. So that's one area where Orca is superior to Datadog.

Still, Datadog is an excellent product. We didn't start with Datadog security, though. We were using Datadog for application performance monitoring. We added Datadog security when Datadog began to offer it to design partners like us. It has some qualities we like and others we don't. But in the end, we're not going to stay with Datadog. I've also evaluated Palo Alto Prisma multiple times, and I've used and evaluated Lacework. I've also used other services like Threat Stack and Tenable Nessus. Compared to Palo Alto Prisma, I like that I don't have to pick and choose with Orca. I expect all of my products to give me everything for the price and not have to select from a menu.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Orca Security nine out of 10. When I first came across it a couple of years ago, I was skeptical about whether Orca could do everything they say it can do. At first, it was like magic. Now that I'm used to it, it's not magic anymore, but it does do a great job. I would advise anyone to try it. You'll immediately see the value.

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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