This device is like a slightly stripped down version of a unifiedthreat manager (UTM). The SecurityMetrics IDS/IPS not only includesIDS/IPS functionality, but it is also a vulnerability assessment tooland it can be configured to be a firewall and router. This appliance isalso capable of protecting the network from viruses, pornography,backdoors, cross-site scripting attacks and many other threats.

This device was shipped almost entirely preconfigured specificallyfor our environment so set-up was a breeze. It took just a few minutesto plug it in, update it and look over the policy for any tweaking andwe were good to go. Once the appliance was up and running, we found thewebGUI to be simple and intuitive to navigate. We also found policyconfiguration to be simple and quick.

While this appliance was easy to configure, it did not perform wellduring test. The IDS part worked very well and identified all theattacks. However, the IPS failed to stop most of the attacks and theprotected network was compromised quickly by our penetration tool. TheIPS did manage to stop a few attacks, but it only takes one serioushole to have a serious problem.

Documentation for this product is insufficient at best. Theinstallation guide is a simple three-page document that does an averagejob of describing installation, but it does not explain the deploymentin any useful detail. The rest of the documentation is built into theappliance as a simple help file. While this help file is well organizedand easy to read, it lacks substantial detail and has no screenshots ordiagrams.

SecurityMetrics does offer support free for the first year onhardware/software maintenance. The second year of support has a cost of$999. The support area of the website offers a support contact, butthat is all. Relative to virtually all other products we test in justabout all categories, this is a very weak showing.

At a price of just under $6,000 we thought this product would be agreat value, but as an IPS it falls flat. However, the good news is itis a good IDS and it does have a built-in vulnerability assessmenttool. In this case, value really depends on what you are looking for.