Imperva tailors Web app firewall for midsize businesses

SecureSphere Standard Edition has simple interface and comes with engineering help

Imperva is introducing a scaled-down version of its Web application firewall designed for quick installation in midsize businesses.

SecureSphere Standard Edition is a trimmed-back iteration of its Secure Sphere Enterprise Edition that has a simplified graphical user interface and revised documentation. It is designed for businesses that don’t have full-time IT security staff and few IT staff in general, the company says.

The platform’s support package comes with two hours of Webex consultation with Imperva engineers to help configure the gear, which is the amount of time the company says most small businesses need to get it up and running.

Imperva says that because the device is not proxy based, it can be installed in front of Web servers without requiring any network configuration changes, again playing to short-staffed IT departments in businesses with 250 to 1,000 employees. The product’s Dynamic Profiling automatically monitors Web application behavior for two to five days and recommends security policies to protect it, requiring less staff expertise in application security.

One user of Secure Sphere SE says it meets the Payment Card Industry standard requirement that a Web application firewall be placed in front of Web servers containing customer information. National Bank Card Services in Minneapolis installed one of the devices in front of its lone Web server from which its customers download daily sales data, says Allan Kintigh, software engineer for the firm.

The box meets PCI requirements, but he says the company didn’t really need it to protect data because sensitive personal data such as credit card numbers are not stored on the Web server. “We wanted zero liability, and the only way we could do that is not to store the data there,” he says.

Still, Kintigh says the PCI requirement for the device is giving him an education about how Web servers can be attacked and probed based on the reports SecureSphere creates. He says he checked out competing products from Citrix, F5 Networks and Breach Security, and after testing one from Citrix, he found that the Imperva interface was simpler to deal with.

SecureSphere SE pricing starts at $15,000.

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