IBM-ISS Proventia MFS MX3006
Strengths: Very easy to deploy and manage with a high amount of functionality.
Weaknesses: Most of the policies need to be turned on manually and the firewall is wide open at first deployment.
Verdict: A strong product in the ISS tradition.
The IBM-ISS Proventia MFS MX3006 appliance features firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, IPS and a web content filter. It also incorporates a VoIP protocol protection and a VPN to ensure communication coming into the network is properly secure. To expand on its already strong base, this appliance also provides protection from spyware. It can prevent spyware from being installed, or if a computer is already infected, it will block the spyware from communicating out.
We found this product quite easy to use. Set-up consists of a few simple steps guided by a set-up wizard, and the appliance is pretty much ready to go. The GUI is Java-based and can be run from any web browser on the network. The GUI is organized and easy to use with an intuitive navigation structure. Components are organized into two categories: one is configuration and the other is status. This made it easy to find what we were looking for.
This device can be deployed either in a routing mode or a transparent mode. Although it does come with some filters on
by default, most are turned off. When we ran it through the test, we found it was passing a lot of traffic through the firewall and IPS. When we looked at the logs, we noticed that it saw all traffic, but the policies were set to pass the traffic by default.
A quick start guide is the only provided documentation for this product. This card illustrates deployment modes and getting the appliance set up and running on the network. This card also has a well-detailed diagram of the appliance, ports and what the ports do. The rest of the documentation can be found online or accessed from the support tab on the GUI. Several guides can be found online.
ISS offers support plans that include online technical support and phone and email support. Plans also can include features — such as training, product upgrade and update downloads and threat analysis services. There is also a knowledge base and product documentation on the website available for all customers.
Prices start at $5,490. This product incorporates a good level of ease of management and a high level of protection at a fairly average cost. We find this device to be a good value for the money.