McAfee Database Security Solution
Strengths: The built-in security policy, functionality and support.
Weaknesses: Took a little while to get used to all of the features.
Verdict: A good product for any sized organization, with expected McAfee quality.
The McAfee Database Security Solution software is a solid buy for any enterprise. It includes McAfee Vulnerability Manager for Databases, McAfee Database Activity Monitoring and McAfee Virtual Patching for Database. It comes with plenty of documentation, a solid user interface and all is easy to install and implement.
McAfee describes the functionality of the tool as providing "the five essentials for database protection: discovery, assessment, monitoring, prevention and compliance." Its functionality is built around providing these essentials and we tested it in that context.
The base price of the software is $7,169, and comes with a year of support. Even after that, there is 24-hour support through calling or chatting.
This product picks up on malicious activity, discovers databases and the firewall is top notch. Pricing and performance for this solution are attractive, especially if you happen to be a McAfee shop. Note, however, that there is an extra cost for the hardware environment on which to run the product - Windows Server 2003 - and a backend database - Microsoft SQLServer 2005.
The databases with which it is compatible include Oracle, MySQL, DB2, Teradata and Sybase. As well, it has multiple other functions, such as firewall, IDS/IPS, auditing, activity monitoring, scanning, prioritizing and providing remediation guidance, monitoring unauthorized access and enforcing policies. In a nutshell, this is a full-featured security product complete with solid reporting and compliance support for the database environment.
The solution passed through our testing with flying colors, and it is compatible with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2 or higher), and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with Service Pack 1 or higher. It comes with a built-in security policy, protecting users against more than 4,700 vulnerabilities, and will discover the vulnerability level of all of a user's databases.
The user interface is the standard that comes with McAfee software. That means that it is easy to navigate and operate. McAfee support is timely, patient and helpful. The documentation was in-depth and covered most, if not all, of the questions that we had.
Further, the McAfee site is complete, covering all of the company's product line. Manuals for the tool we were testing were not in evidence, although there is a large selection of technical documentation for most other products. Deployment was straightforward and required only a bit of tweaking.
Overall, we were quite pleased with the offering, especially with its virtual patching capability, something we have not seen in other solutions. This capability, which does not require changing the binaries of the protected database systems, is updated every three to four weeks and is deployed by the administrator from the management console. It addresses both known and zero-day attacks, according to McAfee. At the time of writing, the vPatch system supports more than 550 vulnerabilities.
Rebecca Weaver contributed to this review.