Database security face-off: IBM Guardium vs. Imperva SecureSphere Database Security

See how enterprise users rate these frequently compared database security solutions.

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Michael Smidt (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

According to enterprise users on reviews website IT Central Station, important criteria to consider when choosing a database security solution include customization capabilities, reporting features, database discovery, vulnerability management, and database auditing, among others. Here's how IBM Guardium and Imperva SecureSphere Database Security stack up.

Ranked as the number one database security solution among IT Central Station users, IBM Guardium is most frequently compared to Imperva SecureSphere Database Security, a pairing that constitutes 32 percent of comparisons between IBM Guardium and its competitors. Imperva SecureSphere Database Security ranks as the number two solution, and 35 percent of its comparisons are to IBM Guardium.

Here's what enterprise users of these products say are the pros and cons of each solution.

IBM Guardium

Value to my organization:

The database activity monitoring and firewall features of Guardium address our database security requirements. The combination of policies, alerts, baselines, reports, and query rewrite functions are easy to use and provide enough room for customization.
Farhan T., Information Security Analyst at a government agency

Room for improvement:

When pointing to areas that could be improved in IBM Guardium, Farhan T. emphasizes the backend database capabilities, writing that it “requires improvement for faster searching,” which would “make it easier for analysts to investigate older data.”

Valuable features:

  • Monitors database activities of end users who are connected to databases (DBAs and developers)
  • Classifies critical objects on the databases
  • Discovers databases on your network
  • Finds vulnerabilities of your databases
  • Blocks critical activities
Adem Ç., Database Security Specialist at a tech services company

How IBM addresses improvements:

Some improvements were needed in version 9.6, those are covered in version 10 already. If we face any issues or bugs in the product IBM provides the patch on that.
Harish K., Senior System Administrator at a financial services firm

Read more IBM Guardium reviews by IT Central Station users.

Imperva SecureSphere Database Security

Most valuable feature:

The most valuable feature of this product is vulnerability management since you don’t need to run different scans by logging into different databases. Everything can be done and monitored through the centralized console by a few clicks and without any hassle.
— A Senior Analyst at a financial services firm

Database auditing capabilities:

Database auditing has become simple and easy, releasing storage previously used for native database audit processes. We found new patterns of database users' behaviour and corrected some user authorizations.
— A Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm

Room for improvement:

SecureSphere activity log can be used with Imperva CounterBreach, in an effort to  protect enterprise data from theft and loss caused. Since such is core to its function, I would like to see future versions to integrate such options. 
Darren C., Operator at Halliburton
I would like to see a better web management console; the UI is not very intuitive, unless you really know what you’re doing. And scan error details should be readable from the web console, instead of running Unix commands on the backend server to view detailed logs.
Sudarshan N., Senior Database Administrator at a media company

Read more Imperva SecureSphere Database Security reviews and database security reviews by IT Central Station users.

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