Security software reviews, 2019: Lab tests of today's top tools

We go hands-on with some of the most innovative, useful and, arguably, best security software on the market.

FireMon network security policy management
FireMon / D3Damon / Getty Images

Threats are constantly evolving and, just like everything else, tend to follow certain trends. Whenever a new type of threat is especially successful or profitable, many others of the same type will inevitably follow. The best defenses need to mirror those trends, so companies get the most robust protection against the newest wave of threats.

Our goal with these reviews is to discover how cutting-edge cybersecurity software fares against the latest threats, hopefully helping you to make good technology purchasing decisions.  We'll explain how these new and trending cybersecurity tools work, who they're for, and where they fit into a security architecture.

Each of these products was tested in a local testbed or, depending on the product or service, within a production environment provided by the vendor. Where appropriate, each was pitted against the most dangerous threats out there today as we unleashed the motley crew from our ever-expanding malware zoo.

Here, listed in alphabetical order, are some of the most innovative and useful, and, dare we say, best security products on the market today.

Best security software — 2019 reviews

1. AttackIQ FireDrill

Category: Penetration testing
AttackIQ FireDrill was created to watch our watchers. It’s a penetration testing tool, but one that is configured to operate from the inside, with the primary goal of identifying flaws, misconfigurations and outright shortcomings in all other cybersecurity defenses. Read the full review.

2. Awake Security Platform

Category: Network security
This advanced network traffic monitoring platform identifies hidden threats and those that don’t use traditional malware, making it extremely powerful and useful in today’s threat environment. Read the full review.

3. Barracuda Sentinel

Category: Email security
Instead of sitting at the gateway like traditional email protection platforms, Sentinel connects at the API level to any cloud-based email program. Its uses artificial intelligence to learn how users communicate so that it can spot anomalies that might be an indication of an attack later on. Read the full review.

4. Bitglass

Category: Mobile security
The Bitglass platform is essentially an agentless and lightweight MDM platform without any of the over-burdensome complexity or draconian rules those mobile management tools normally require. Bitglass is installed in the cloud, which technically makes it a cloud access security broker (CASB). How it works is that users on mobile devices first sign into a portal and then access all of their work data through Bitglass. The interface is seamless to users, with only the Bitglass name being inserted into the URL field at the top of the browser page to indicate that Bitglass is enforcing policies on those interactions. Read the full review.

5. Fidelis Deception

Category: Deception
Today's skilled hackers know, or at least suspect, that deception is in place and won't blindly follow breadcrumbs to fake assets. To combat this, Fidelis Deception creates realistic, living deception assets. Read the full review.

6. GreatHorn

Category: Email protection
GreatHorn takes a modern and highly effective approach to protecting enterprise email that goes well beyond the capabilities of legacy mail scanners. Read the full review.

7. JASK Autonomous Security Operations Center (ASOC)

Category: SIEM
Everything about the JASK ASOC is different from how a traditional SIEM operates. For one, the entire ASOC infrastructure exists inside a secure Amazon Web Services cloud. Network administrators only need to install a JASK software sensor to help facilitate the link between the local console and the brains of the platform in the cloud. The ASOC doesn’t even issue alerts in the traditional sense. Instead, it coordinates all of the events and anomalies that it discovers and groups them together. Only once it believes that it has found solid evidence of a threat does it present what it calls an insight to IT teams monitoring the SOC. Read the full review.

8. SlashNext

Category: email protection
SlashNext has taken the old adage of doing one thing very well to heart. There are two products available to organizations. The first is a detailed and dedicated phishing threat feed that can be used to block phishing sites as they pop up. The second is an appliance that provides even more protection and is able to halt even targeted attacks aimed at a single organization that wouldn’t trigger any other kind of alert. Read the full review.

2018 reviews

2017 reviews

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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