On June 13, nCircle, the leading provider of enterprise-class vulnerability and risk management solutions, introduced the Security Intelligence Hub, an open and extensible system for aggregating and sharing end-point and network intelligence discovered by the IP360 Vulnerability Management System and other information systems. Current Perspective: Slightly positive on nCircles release of Security Intelligence Hub because it extends the scalability and reporting functionality of the companys vulnerability and risk management suite. The new product should be attractive to nCircles largest enterprise customers. Vendor Importance: High to nCircle because this is a major new product release for the company and one it hopes will help to differentiate it from the pack in the vulnerability and risk management markets. Market Impact: Moderate on the vulnerability management market because nCircle has traditionally targeted the enterprise and this release should strengthen the companys position in that market segment.Current Perspective: Positive\/NeutralWe are taking a slightly positive stance on nCircles release of the new Security Intelligence Hub product, which improves the scalability and reporting capabilities of its IP360 vulnerability and risk management product. nCircle targets enterprise customers in the vulnerability management market and this product should make the companys solutions more attractive to prospects in this target segment.nCircles flagship product is its IP360 vulnerability assessment and network profiling product. The company has been growing out of its legacy position in the vulnerability assessment market and repositioning as a vulnerability and risk management vendor. The companys other major offering is nTellect, which is designed to feed vulnerability data into Ciscos IDS solution as a means of reducing false positives.Security Intelligence Hub should find a ready audience among nCircles installed base of IP360 customers. The product significantly improves the scalability and reporting capabilities of IP360 by incorporating an enterprise strength database (Oracle comes standard with the product) and Crystal reports. Data is fed to the hub from IP360 VnE Managers for storage or analysis. In addition to IP360 data, the hub can consolidate asset management data, additional third-party vulnerability assessment data, and corporate security policy information. nCircle plans to extend the product to support threat event data as well.There are a couple concerns related to the announcement, but they are minor and related to general concerns with first generation offerings and the need to quickly prove product reliability, performance, and integration. Because Security Intelligence Hub is clearly targeted at nCircles installed base, it would have been comforting to see a customer quote in the press release announcing this product. The company should work to quickly demonstrate customer success with the new product.Competitive Positives Security Intelligence Hub extends nCircles vulnerability and risk management product portfolio and leverages its IP360 vulnerability assessment and network profiling technology. The product should be attractive to nCircles most demanding enterprise customers. Security Intelligence Hub provides an external database for populating IP360 application and vulnerability information. The product comes standard with an Oracle database but will support other leading databases such as SQL Server and DB2. The major benefits are scalability improvements and enhanced reporting capabilities. Security Intelligence Hub includes Crystal Reports. Security Intelligence Hub can be used to consolidate data from multiple IP360 VnE Managers. This significantly increases the scalability of the IP360 solution. The central database also provides a more comprehensive solution for audit and compliance requirements. Security Intelligence Hub also provides a repository for consolidating a broader set of security data such as asset management data, third-party vulnerability assessment data, and corporate security policy information. Although not yet supported, Security Intelligence Hub could also be enhanced to support security event management data.Competitive Concerns There are the general concerns associated with a first generation product, especially one targeted at addressing the needs of a companys most demanding customers. The press release announcing Security Intelligence Hub did not include any customer quotes. nCircles plans to expand the Security Intelligence Hub to include security event management capabilities is likely to create some friction with its SEM partners. These currently include ArcSight, eSecurity netForensics, and Preventsys. Security Intelligence Hub will not initially be integrated with nCircles nTellect product, which is designed to push IP360 data to network protection devices (see nCircle Launches IDS nTellect, September 30, 2004). This highlights the basically forensic nature of this first generation of the product.