BigFix Security Configuration and Vulnerability Management
Strengths: Vulnerability and configuration management in one easy-to-use product.
Weaknesses: Can become expensive in larger deployments.
Verdict: An important part of the BigFix suite of products, this is worth a close look, especially if you are a BigFix shop.
Security Configuration and Vulnerability Management from BixFix goes beyond standard vulnerability management. This product looks deeper at client machine configurations to ensure that all clients connected to the network are not only free from vulnerabilities, but also configured properly to meet compliance standards. This provides administrators with a constant and consistent picture of client machines, as well as servers and mobile devices, to maintain a secure network.
The implementation of this product is quite straightforward, but there are a few components that must be installed and configured. The main component is the BigFix Server. This server is the head end of the deployment. Installing the server components took just a few minutes and the setup is guided by an easy-to-follow wizard. The next component is the BigFix Console. This is the main management interface that is used to configure and manage the network. The final components are the agents. This product uses these agents to maintain constant communication between the clients and the server to ensure new problems are diagnosed quickly. The agents can be deployed easily using the built-in Client Deploy Tool.
While there are many components to this system, we found everything to be easy and intuitive to use. The management console itself is well-organized and we found it comfortable to navigate and could find information quickly without having to dig for it. This tool also plugs into Active Directory for easy agent deployment, so it is not necessary for the administrator to go around installing agents on every computer.
Documentation includes a PDF administrator's guide, as well as several other more specific customization guides. The administrator's guide covers the entire Enterprise Suite of which Security Configuration and Vulnerability Management is a small piece. However, we did find this guide to be well-organized and easy to follow with many screen shots and configuration examples included.
BigFix offers both standard and premium support. Standard support offers no-cost phone and email technical support from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the customer's local time zone, while a premium support contract offers 24/7/365 technical support. Customers can also access a large support area on the website, which includes technical documentation, resources, a knowledge base and a user forum.
At a price starting at $20 per seat, this product can become quite expensive for very large deployments, but we find that it is a good value for the money based on the very comprehensive feature set.