STEALTHbits vs. Varonis Without the Hyperbole

STEALTHbits vs. Varonis Without the Hyperbole

Let’s face it. Varonis has smart people. STEALTHbits has smart people. Varonis doesn’t have super-secret technology that only their smart people can develop, and neither does STEALTHbits. The difference between the two solutions lies in corporate history, market philosophy, and, frankly, a real-time security capability Varonis simply doesn’t offer.

History

History is powerful. The remnants of decisions made somewhat arbitrarily a thousand years ago still impact us today. Think about it. Some say the modern military salute derives from medieval knights raising their visors to identify themselves when greeting other friendly warriors, a somewhat arbitrary gesture when viewed today, but makes sense when historical context is added. On a much shorter timescale – STEALTHbits was founded in 2001, and Varonis in 2005 – STEALTHbits and Varonis design approaches are largely the result of history.

When STEALTHbits crawled from the corporate primordial soup, its first products were designed primarily for patch validation. So, STEALTHbits built very lightweight, small footprint data collectors designed to quickly survey all machines on a corporate network and inventory software installed on each. On the other hand, Varonis began its corporate life by pulling metadata from file system servers, something that required the installation of agents on those file servers. So, from the very beginning, STEALTHbits’ design paradigm centered on an agentless approach to data gathering, while Varonis was comfortable with agents and their installation, and each approach made complete sense for their respective objectives at the time.

Over time, however, STEALTHbits began to do more of what Varonis’ was doing on the file systems, but brought to that task the same small footprint philosophy that drove our original mission. Today, both of us require agents on file servers to accomplish robust file activity monitoring, but STEALTHbits can do a lot more without installing agents than can Varonis. I guess you could say it’s just a historical fact.

Philosophy

My parents have a mobile phone that makes and receives phone calls. That’s it. Honestly, I have no idea where they found it. Even someone who’s never made a phone call can use it quickly out-of-the-box, and it’s perfect for my parents. It does exactly what they need, and is simple to use. My iPhone also makes and receives phone calls. But I can adjust dozens of settings to customize it for my purposes and preferences, and I can add countless apps, tailoring the “phone” for my specific needs. Molding my phone to be the precise tool I want takes time, however, and some effort, and maybe even a little expertise. But I’m more than willing to trade a little time and effort for a tailored experience. My parents, on the other hand, would cringe at the thought.

Different needs. Different products. Different design philosophies.

Varonis offers a product with a defined set of reports. It’s a good product, and it’s pretty easy to use, but customizing it is generally not supported. The data it collects is stored in a database that’s essentially a black box, so integrating the Varonis software with other security products or propriety systems is, again, to be generous, challenging. All that having been said, if a user requires only the standard reports provided by Varonis, it’s a fine product.

STEALTHbits also provides a suite of out-of-the-box reports that our customers can use without customization or significant time investment. But, we also believe that each enterprise is unique, with its own challenges, architectural nuances, and priorities. So we publish our database schema and make it as easy as possible for our customers to build reports that present the data we collect in a form that precisely matches their needs. And since we also believe that an effective security infrastructure includes best-of-breed tools from multiple vendors, our open philosophy also enables integration with IAM, DLP, GRC, and other enterprise security applications.

Real-time Intrusion Detection

Varonis offers a suite of products that competes directly with our StealthAUDIT Management Platform. We battle head-to-head often, and although we believe strongly in our solution’s advantages, Varonis is a formidable competitor to StealthAUDIT.

However, we also offer a real-time intrusion detection and change auditing product that even Varonis would likely admit they have no answer for – StealthINTERCEPT. StealthINTERCEPT provides real-time monitoring and alerting that gives our customers the insight and control needed to ensure that their information is protected. Our attack analytics alerts provide real-time knowledge of attacks in progress so that IT can mobilize to minimize the damage. Furthermore, we allow our customers to alert on and even block changes being made to Active Directory, file systems, and Exchange. Many of our customers use StealthINTERCEPT alongside StealthAUDIT, a benefit only STEALTHbits can offer.

History. Philosophy. Real-time Intrusion Detection. We’re three for three.

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