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IBM QRadar OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM QRadar is #2 ranked solution in Log Management Software and top Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools. IT Central Station users give IBM QRadar an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM QRadar is most commonly compared to Splunk:IBM QRadar vs Splunk. IBM QRadar is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 46% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is IBM QRadar?

The IBM QRadar security and analytics platform is a lead offering in IBM Security's portfolio. This family of products provides consolidated flexible architecture for security teams to quickly adopt log management, SIEM, user behavior analytics, incident forensics, and threat intelligence and more. As an integrated analytics platform, QRadar streamlines critical capabilities into a common workflow, with tools such as the IBM Security App Exchange ecosystem and Watson for Cyber Security cognitive capability.

With QRadar, you can decrease your overall cost of ownership with an improved detection of threats and enjoy the flexibility of on-premise or cloud deployment, and optional managed security monitoring services.

IBM QRadar is also known as QRadar SIEM, QRadar UBA, QRadar on Cloud, QRadar.

IBM QRadar Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM QRadar Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM QRadar Customers

Clients across multiple industries, such as energy, financial, retail, healthcare, government, communications, and education use QRadar.

IBM QRadar Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM QRadar pricing:
  • "It is overly expensive and overly complex in terms of licensing. They have many different appliances, which makes it extremely difficult to choose the technology. It is very difficult to choose the technology or QRadar components that you should be deploying. They have improved some of it in the last few years. They have made it slightly easy with the fact that you can now buy virtual versions of all the appliances, which is good, but it is still very fragmented. For instance, on some of the smaller appliances, there is no upgrade path. So, if you exceed the capacity of the appliance, you have to buy a bigger appliance, which is not helpful because it is quite a major cost. If you want to add more disks to the system, they'll say that you can't."
  • "It's very expensive but it fits our budget."
  • "It is a perpetual license that we have for the event collector. The licensing is done based on the number of events and flows that you receive on this particular device. These are perpetual licenses, which means once you purchase them, they don't expire, which means that the support to IBM is definitely renewed after every one year. We have an enterprise agreement with IBM, which puts the cost in a totally different category as compared to someone who is not an IBM partner and is approaching IBM for this solution. We were able to get massive discounts. To give you an idea, we recently purchased 30,000 event licenses, and it costs around $480,000. It is definitely not a cheap product. We have licenses for about 270,000 events per second and 3 million flows per second. All the appliances and their events and flows are basically clubbed together and charged or rather calculated through a single source. The console receives all the details from all the event processes that we have globally. So, the license that we have is a single license for 270,000 events per second and 3 million flows per second, but that can be managed centrally. I was only part of the secondary purchase, which was 30,000 events per second for about $480,000. You can calculate how much we paid for 270,000 events. Reducing its price would be a compromise. We have already used a lower-priced product in the form of NNT, but we had to get rid of it because it was not doing the job that we actually wanted to do. You get what you pay for."

IBM QRadar Software Reviews

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Simon Thornton
Cyber Security Services Operations Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Provides a single window into your network, SIEM, network flows, and risk management of your assets

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable thing about QRadar is that you have a single window into your network, SIEM, network flows, and risk management of your assets. If you use Splunk, for instance, then you still need a full packet capture solution, whereas the full packet capture solution is integrated within QRadar. Its application ecosystem makes it very powerful in terms of doing analysis."
  • "I'd like them to improve the offense. When QRadar detects something, it creates what it calls offenses. So, it has a rudimentary ticketing system inside of it. This is the same interface that was there when I started using it 12 years ago. It just has not been improved. They do allow integration with IBM Resilient, but IBM Resilient is grotesquely expensive. The most effective integration that IBM offers today is with IBM Resilient, which is an instant response platform. It is a very good platform, but it is very expensive. They really should do something with the offense handling because it is very difficult to scale, and it has limitations. The maximum number of offenses that it can carry is 16K. After 16K, you have to flush your offenses out. So, it is all or nothing. You lose all your offenses up until that point in time, and you don't have any history within the offense list of older events. If you're dealing with multiple customers, this becomes problematic. That's why you need to use another product to do the actual ticketing. If you wanted the ticket existence, you would normally interface with ServiceNow, SolarWinds, or some other product like that."

What is our primary use case?

We're a customer, partner, or reseller. We use QRadar on our own internal SOC. We are also a reseller of QRadar for some of the projects. So, we sell QRadar to customers, and we're also a partner because we have different models. We roll the product out to a customer as part of our service where we own it, but the customer is paying. We also do a full deployment that a customer owns. So, we are actually fulfilling all three roles.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable thing about QRadar is that you have a single window into your network, SIEM, network flows, and risk management of your assets. If you use Splunk, for instance, then you still need a full packet capture solution, whereas the full packet capture solution is integrated within QRadar. Its application ecosystem makes it very powerful in terms of doing analysis.

What needs improvement?

In terms of the GUI, they need to improve the consistency. It has been written by different teams at different times. So, when you go around the interface, you'll find a lot of inconsistencies in terms of the way it works.

I'd like them to improve the offense. When QRadar detects something, it creates what it calls offenses. So, it has a rudimentary ticketing system inside of it. This is the same interface that was there when I started using it 12 years ago. It just has not been improved. They do allow integration with IBM Resilient, but IBM Resilient is grotesquely expensive. The most effective integration that IBM offers today is with IBM Resilient, which is an instant response platform. It is a very good platform, but it is very expensive. They really should do something with the offense handling because it is very difficult to scale, and it has limitations. The maximum number of offenses that it can carry is 16K. After 16K, you have to flush your offenses out. So, it is all or nothing. You lose all your offenses up until that point in time, and you don't have any history within the offense list of older events. If you're dealing with multiple customers, this becomes problematic. That's why you need to use another product to do the actual ticketing. If you wanted the ticket existence, you would normally interface with ServiceNow, SolarWinds, or some other product like that. 

Their support should also be improved. Their support is very slow, and it is very difficult to find knowledgeable people within IBM.

Its price and licensing should be improved. It is overly expensive and overly complex in terms of licensing. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 12 years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is very slow. it is very difficult to find knowledgeable people within IBM. I'm an expert in the use of QRadar, and I know the technical insights of QRadar very well, but it is sometimes very painful to deal with IBM's support and actually get them to do something. Their support is very difficult to work with for some customers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I work with Prelude, which is by a French company. It is a basic beginner's SIEM. If you never had a SIEM before and you wanted to experiment, this is where you would start, but it is probably that you would leave very quickly. I've also worked with ArcSight and Splunk.

My recommendation would depend upon your technical appetite or your technical capability. QRadar is essentially a Linux-based Red Hat appliance. Unfortunately, you still need some Linux knowledge to work with this effectively. Not everything is through the GUI. 

Comparing it with Splunk, in terms of licensing, IBM's model is simpler than Splunk's model. Splunk has two models. One is volume metrics, so you pay for the number of bytes that are transmitted daily. The other one is based upon the number of events per second, which they introduced relatively recently. Splunk can be more expensive than QRadar when you start to get into adding what they call indexes. So, basically, you create specific indexes to hold, for instance, logs related to Cisco. This is implicit within QRadar, and it is designed that way, but within Splunk, if you want to get that performance and you have large volumes of logs, you need to create indexes. This is where the cost of Splunk can escalate.

How was the initial setup?

Installing QRadar is very simple. You insert a DVD, boot the system, and it runs the installation after asking you a few questions. It runs pretty much automatically, and then you're up and going. From an installation point of view, it is very easy.

The only thing that you have to get right before you do the installation is your architecture because it has event collectors, event processes, flow collectors, flow processes, and a number of other components. You need to understand where they should be placed. If you want more storage, then you need to place data nodes on the ends of the processes. All this is something that you need to have in mind when you design and deploy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is overly expensive and overly complex in terms of licensing. They have many different appliances, which makes it extremely difficult to choose the technology. It is very difficult to choose the technology or QRadar components that you should be deploying. 

They have improved some of it in the last few years. They have made it slightly easy with the fact that you can now buy virtual versions of all the appliances, which is good, but it is still very fragmented. For instance, on some of the smaller appliances, there is no upgrade path. So, if you exceed the capacity of the appliance, you have to buy a bigger appliance, which is not helpful because it is quite a major cost. If you want to add more disks to the system, they'll say that you can't. If they ship a disk with 2 terabytes that the older appliances have, and you say to them that you can commercially get 10 terabyte disks, they will say this is not possible, even though there is no technical reason why it cannot be done. So, they're not very flexible from that point of view. For IBM, it is good because you basically have to buy new appliances, but from a customer's point of view, it is a very expensive investment.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you have the buy-in from different teams in the company because you will need help from the network teams. You will potentially need help from IT. 

You need to have a strategy of how you onboard logs into SIEM. Do you take a risk-based approach or do you onboard everything? You should take the time to understand the architecture and the implications of design choices. For instance, QRadar Components communicate with each other using SSH tunnels. The normal practice in security is that if I put a device in a DMZ, then communication between the device on the normal network, which is a higher security zone, and the DMZ, which is a lower security zone, will be initiated from the high-security zone. You would not expect the device in the DMZ to initiate communication back into the normal network. In the case of QRadar, if you put your processes in the DMZ, then it has to communicate with the console, which means that you have to allow the processor to communicate. This has consequences. If you have remote sites or you plan to use cloud-based processes, collectors, etc, and have an internal console, the same communication channels have to exist. So, it requires some careful planning. That's the main thing.

I would rate QRadar an eight out of 10 as compared to other products.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Andris Soroka
Co-owner and CEO at Data Security Solutions
Real User
Top 20
Best price-performance ratio, good scalability, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "We have worked with other solutions, such as LogRhythm and Splunk. Compared to others, IBM QRadar has the best price-performance ratio so that you are able to reserve minimum costs. It starts settling in fast and gets the first results very quickly. It is also very scalable."
  • "There are a lot of things they are working on and a lot of technologies that are not yet there. They should probably work out a better reserve with their ecosystem of business partners and create wider and more in-depth qualities, third-party tools, and add-ons. These things really give immediate business value. For instance, there are many limitations in using SAP, EBS, or Micro-Dynamics. A lot of things that are happening in those platforms could also be monitored and allowed from the cybersecurity risks perspective. IBM might be leaving this gap or empty space for business partners. Some larger organizations might already be doing this. It would be very nice if IBM can make some artificial intelligence part free of charge for all current QRadar users. This would be a big advantage as compared to other competitors. There are companies that are going in different directions. Of course, you can't do everything inside QRadar. In general, it might be very good for all players to provide more use cases, especially regarding data protection and leakage prevention. There are some who are already doing some kind of file integrity or gathering some more information from all possible technologies for building anything related to the user and data analysis, content analysis, and management regarding the data protection."

What is our primary use case?

I am a system integrator. We have installed it on-premises, on the cloud, in distributed environments, and all other environments for our clients.

What is most valuable?

We have worked with other solutions, such as LogRhythm and Splunk. Compared to others, IBM QRadar has the best price-performance ratio so that you are able to reserve minimum costs. It starts settling in fast and gets the first results very quickly. It is also very scalable.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of things they are working on and a lot of technologies that are not yet there. They should probably work out a better reserve with their ecosystem of business partners and create wider and more in-depth qualities, third-party tools, and add-ons. These things really give immediate business value. For instance, there are many limitations in using SAP, EBS, or Micro-Dynamics. A lot of things that are happening in those platforms could also be monitored and allowed from the cybersecurity risks perspective. IBM might be leaving this gap or empty space for business partners. Some larger organizations might already be doing this.

It would be very nice if IBM can make some artificial intelligence part free of charge for all current QRadar users. This would be a big advantage as compared to other competitors.

There are companies that are going in different directions. Of course, you can't do everything inside QRadar. In general, it might be very good for all players to provide more use cases, especially regarding data protection and leakage prevention. There are some who are already doing some kind of file integrity or gathering some more information from all possible technologies for building anything related to the user and data analysis, content analysis, and management regarding the data protection.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If the engineers are missing some technical knowledge from IBM documentation, then it might get interesting, but you can always rollback. Usually, when you are implementing innovations, as a system integrator, you usually do less on the test environment, and then you check if this works. If bigger organizations and customers want to do it by themselves, they should really stick to this approach and use a lot of material, community pages, and channels.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is absolutely no problem with scalability. It works very fine, especially when you are running just clients. It doesn't matter how many variants you have all across the culture. You can practically have different continents. It doesn't matter how many collectors are running. You can easily distribute the current license to multiple users, and all the collectors can upload it without any restrictions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have worked with other solutions. Splunk is a long-term trap because it is very expensive, and it gets more and more expensive. It has different times, and it is integrated with different products. When you combine that together with licensing, it obviously fails. You are paying a lot more than QRadar.

LogRhythm has some problems with stability. We were the first partner to do some integrations with LogRhythm, but we had some problems. ArcSight was smaller at the time but not anymore. It is now a competitor. Fortinet is very good for those who are already using some software products from them.

How was the initial setup?

It usually happens within two or three hours, but it also depends on the preparation. If good homework is done, then the initial setup is totally flawless. It is ready very soon. We then try it and wait for maybe a couple of days more. After that, we start fine-tuning, and then we do advanced installations.

For us, such projects usually don't start without any experience with technology and the concepts. When you are buying it, you need to know all the information systems, create a list of tasks and priorities, and understand the use case better. 

What about the implementation team?

A lot of such innovations or implementations initially can be done by one person, two persons, or maybe a team of five dedicated administrators who later on will be using this technology or solution. You need to understand that there are different roles of people who are working with cybersecurity and threat management, such as an analyst, a simple technical maintenance performer, an administrator, a user behavior analyst, etc.

What other advice do I have?

It is not something like a next-generation firewall, next-generation intrusion prevention, or the most complex tool that you have got, which you can install and configure and then see if it runs smoothly. It is a completely different story in QRadar or any similar technology. These solutions or technologies have to be managed continuously. 

The biggest mistake that innovations people usually make is that they don't plan the total cost of the technology tools for a period of five years, especially because they don't know what kind of new threats are coming out. Despite that, IBM is very early in doing some kind of new content packs and including data enforcement, etc. When new threats are coming in, you effectively need to adjust. The more complex use cases you have, the more complex the responses will be. You might have different systems or you might be working in different time zones.

When buying, people think that 70% to 80% percent of the initial purchase is the total they are going to spend within next year at this time, and then every next year, they will spend like 20% or 25% on the technical support, maintenance, development of the system, etc. When you are talking about a huge, complex, and central cybersecurity threat management system, it is more likely that you are implementing a document management system and some complex CIP systems, etc. The cost of the license and the cost of the hardware initially can make up around 20%, 30%, or less percent of the total budget that is needed for quality management of such solutions for a longer period of time. 

Some people think that if they buy this for 100,000 pounds or euros, the next year, they can buy just annual subscriptions for 25,000 or 20,000. You may have some internal costs for the license, etc. If you are buying for, let's say, 100,000, you might have to make your budget for 200,000 more, because it needs to have certain people who are doing everything with the solution. You need to train them and send them to the IBM international technology academies and events such as Visor to know about its management and maintenance. You probably also need to do some certification, so you need to go for a course for implementation. A lot of internal work should be done to adjust the solution with other departments, and those other departments usually don't like such central, overseeing, and controlled solution. They, later on, learn that they can get a lot of different, useful reports out of it without doing additional work. 

I would rate IBM QRadar an eight out of ten. Every technology has some weaknesses and strengths. It has a lot of points to improve, but based on everything that we have seen in the market and from other customers, this is, so far, at least in Europe, the best solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about IBM QRadar. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PP
Management Executive at a security firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
User-friendly, easy to deploy with proper training and offers good coverage

Pros and Cons

  • "What we like about QRadar and the models that IBM has, is it can go from a small-to-medium enterprise to a larger organization, and it gives you the same value."
  • "The only challenge with products like IBM is the EPS. You just have to be really on the events per second, as that's where the cost factor becomes a huge issue."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for breach management. We use it for identifying rogue IPs and picking up anomalies in terms of the network traffic coming in. We've seen a year of use cases in terms of breach management and incident management. We find IBM QRadar quite relevant in terms of protecting against potential malicious traffic coming into your organization. 

Obviously, it is evolved, and where we're utilizing IBM QRadar is to do other analytical capabilities, which include identity and access management. We've got a unique way where we use the platform to generate a view of all your identities and access that is granted within your environment and so forth. We are able to map that using IBM QRadar, which is not a use case that is normally thought about, however, we found from an analytical point of view, this is what we can do because we get all the information we need here.

What is most valuable?

IBM QRadar is phenomenal as a SIEM SOC solution. In terms of its capability, in terms of its usability, in terms of the SOC solutions or SIEM solutions out there, we find QRadar the most user-friendly. 

It gives you the right coverage as the analytical platform that's coupled with Watson is phenomenal.

From a deployment perspective, we found it very, very good.

What we like about QRadar and the models that IBM has, is it can go from a small-to-medium enterprise to a larger organization, and it gives you the same value.

It's easy to use if you go through the proper training. We find that the current IBM team in South Africa is not as good as the teams abroad, however, if you get the right support and the right training, which we have got, we find it very, very, very customizable and user-friendly. 

What we have done is we do not use a lot of level-one analysts. We use a lot of developers, so we constantly evolve the rule-set. Most of the organizations that have employed QRadar, what they do is they stack it up with level-one and level-two analysts, as opposed to having more security developers who enhance the rule-set, due to the fact that all of the same technologies work on rule-sets. If you can dynamically change the rule-set on the fly, you're good. We have got a different model in terms of the way we operate a SOC, where we have more developers amending the rules, you will lessen the number of false positives that you encounter. The biggest problem with most of the SIEM technologies out there is that you get too many false positives, and again, it impacts your operational SOC. We don't have that issue here. 

What needs improvement?

The only challenge with products like IBM is the EPS. You just have to be really on the events per second, as that's where the cost factor becomes a huge issue.

You do need proper training. Better training leads to better implementation. South Africa does not have the most knowledgeable technical support team. One challenge that you have in South Africa is the quality of the IBM resources. They're not up to the level companies need. I have to criticize IBM on that point - the skill level in South Africa and the South African franchise of IBM doesn't necessarily meet the quality of the product.

They can improve on the architecture. It's the way you deploy it. It's your enterprise architecture team that needs to understand it well. Again, due to our unique skillset on it, we deploy it in a very different way where we reduce the consumption of events per second, which reduces the overall cost of it. However, with the architecture, you need to get better guidance from IBM in terms of the way which the architecture is done. 

What I will say about IBM is that if you deploy it stock standard, it can be a very expensive tool, especially with your events per second, and where the way you deploy it architecturally will determine how much it costs you to manage it, as your events per second can be reduced through proper architecture. It's critical to an IBM install that a user understands the architecture and the deployment strategy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for a very long time. It's likely been about six years or so at this point. I've used it for a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've got three customers on the solution currently. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is lacking in South Africa and it doesn't meet the quality of the product. We're not quite satisfied with the level of service of knowledgeability on offer here. 

They need to be faster and more knowledgeable. If you log a ticket to South Africa, they can be quicker and more knowledgeable about issues. It's a problem within South Africa where the skill level of the IBM local team is not to the level it should be. Whether it's training or support, there's a problem. It's not the greatest.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup can be difficult if you don't have a good understanding of the product, for us, it's not too difficult. 

To do a small deployment takes us about two weeks.

When we did the deployment for one of our clients recently it took us four engineers from our side and four engineers from the outside to deploy it within two weeks. 

What about the implementation team?

We handle deployments for our clients. Occasionally we need outside assistance. 

What was our ROI?

From a return on investment, the client sees in terms of its value from an IBM perspective, is a massive value from the deployment of QRadar.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

On-premises is pretty expensive as opposed to the cloud. 

You do need to pay for a year subscription. You are charged at events per second as well. 

What other advice do I have?

On QRadar, we look at the cloud-based uses as opposed to on-premise due to the cost factor. 

In terms of SIEM technologies, in terms of what you can get, I would rate it an eight out of ten. The QRadar platform is phenomenal in terms of what it does.

If you want to get the best out of IBM, spend more time on the rules generation and the modification of the rules.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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AM
Security Analyst at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides the visibility and analytics needed to detect and combat security risks

Pros and Cons

  • "The rule engine is very easy to use — very flexible."
  • "The user interface is a bit clunky, a bit hard to find what you need."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for deploying and integrating log sources and use cases.

We use it to generate offensives based on normal behavior and suspicious behavior from our security tools, firewalls, and other solutions.

We have applied a set of old and new rules to QRAdar that aim to detect persistent abnormalities in our environments.

Within our organization, our security operations center and users from our local security team — roughly 10 to 12 users — use QRadar. We plan to expand to other areas of the company so that other people can use QRadar for different use cases. But right now only the security teams use it.

How has it helped my organization?

It's more of what it has provided for our company. We have much better visibility into our environment now. It has become much easier to create an alert for suspicious behavior, to operate on security incidents when they happen, and to drill down on specific events and figure out exactly which machines and users were involved.

What is most valuable?

I think the log search is pretty good. It's very easy to create complex searches and aggregate results and create graphics, etc. 

The rule engine is very easy to use — very flexible. We can create rules based on whatever behavior we want. It's very easy to use compared to Splunk. 

When we analyzed Splunk, that was the criteria that we looked at. Splunk was a lot more difficult to use and to create rules.

The standard rules they have are very comprehensive. There are many content packs in the apps that enrich those rules. We are still using the native rules from QRadar because there are many useful rules there. I think we're going to have a very good experience with them.

What needs improvement?

One thing one has to be aware is that qRadar doesn't have a standard UI style, but older (clunkier) and newer (more modern and easy to use) screens. The QRadar UI involves a lot of clicks and pop-ups to get where you want, which is certainly not the best UX, but isn't totally a pain also. Although it's a bit difficult to navigate through screens at first, the UX is pretty good once you learn the "qRadar way", which takes about a few weeks to master.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for the last three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some bugs and we had to handle them. They impacted our deployment timeline, but all of the bugs that we had were quickly solved by engineers from IBM. Currently, we are not fully satisfied with the stability, but the support from IBM is very good and they can solve our problems very, very quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There seems to be a cap-limit regarding scalability. IBM limits the amount of data you can send into the collectors so scalability-wise, it's not that optimum because sometimes we have a resource or a machine that tends to think it gets more events per second than it actually gets. Because of how the solution is made, If we send a large number of events to these event collectors, then they will start dropping events because we can't queue them. That seems to be by design — we aren't entirely satisfied with that. In this way, IBM kind of forces their customers to buy a larger license.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM's customer support is very good. 

We don't have any comments about community support because we don't know any communities that we can use to look up information about QRadar; however, in general, we have used IBM's documentation extensively — I think it's very useful, it's very complete, but sometimes it's a bit outdated. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use ArcSight. I can't even begin to compare these two products because ArcSight was a solution managed entirely by our security operations center team. We didn't have full knowledge of what the solution was capable of. Now we're seeing a much larger universe with QRadar — I think it's a completely different thing. QRadar is much more capable than ArcSight.

How was the initial setup?

Deployment-wise it's pretty easy already; it took us one hour to get QRadar running, and then a couple of days later, we had full deployment. We then began onboarding log sources — the process of onboarding log sources has been almost painless for 90% of our log sources, which are from different vendors and different tools, and within a month we had about 70% of all of our relevant security logs in qRadar, generating many interesting offenses on a daily basis. So that has been very positive.

We had little interaction with qRadar during the process of onboarding log sources — most log sources were automatically discovered, their events were mapped correctly and parsed to extract relevant fields. A few log sources required manual intervention or installation of content packs, and some of IBM's DSMs were a bit outdated, but these issues were rather quick to fix within qRadar itself.

What about the implementation team?

We used a partner company here called IT.eam, which helped us with the deployment. They are very capable and professional and it's been overall a great experience.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's very expensive but it fits our budget. Because it's very expensive, we had to come up with ways of filtering our logs before they get into QRadar because otherwise, we'd have to buy a much greater amount of events per second, and that would be very expensive.

Splunk is virtually the same price.

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend QRadar for security teams that are more from the IT world and not so much from the development or data-science world. I think other tools, such as Splunk, are really great too, but QRadar is natively concerned with providing security rules and use cases. If you're looking for a reliable solution for security purposes only, QRadar is probably the way to go.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
HH
Senior IT Technical Support at a training & coaching company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly, offers easy integrations, and has a straightforward setup

Pros and Cons

  • "Customer service is very good and very helpful."
  • "The custom rules could be simplified more or it should be possible to use a different language, other than the ones that the solution is already using. They should add other languages into the mix."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for threat detection and response. QRadar can be integrated with other services from IBM such as Watson, among others. The main need is for threat detection, incident response, and dealing with threats or hunting threats. 

What else? I mean, it's always you're looking for threats. Usually, whoever buys this SIM solution or buys QRadar, for example, is looking for hidden threats and they get the logs to see what's happening within their system. They want a solution that looks very deep inside in order to correlate those logs and see if there's any information that they can get out of those logs or even live packets that are spanning through their networks. Therefore, it's usually threat hunting. That's the main thing, Others might use it to understand the system, and how it's performing overall.  However, that's the lesser use case.

What is most valuable?

Inside IBM QRadar there are a lot of engines that actually work to help us to do the correlation and normalization as well for the logs that we're receiving from multiple devices. IBM is very powerful in that regard. 

QRadar, as a solution, can integrate with a lot of other applications. You can write your own custom rules if you want to. We can ask it to detect whatever we want it to, even with the devices that are not supported to send logs. IBM QRadar can understand these types of commands and we can still integrate and write our own rules to help us to detect those logs that are coming from, for example, IoT devices or from other devices that usually we don't understand.

It can handle really a huge number of logs with fewer false positives. We can use the artificial intelligence and the rules that IBM is providing to make it really smart. The solution can help you predict even the false positives when we are alerting the admin or the security admin about some offenses that we have seen from the logs.

Their product is very user-friendly.

Customer service is very good and very helpful.

The initial setup is quite straightforward.

The solution can scale.

The solution is very stable.

What needs improvement?

As per Gartner, maybe the price makes it so that the customers are not going for IBM QRadar. It's a little bit pricey compared to other solutions in the market. More or less that's the area that needs to be improved. That's usually the main concern that we receive from the customers - that it's a little bit pricey. That's the only thing I can say.

The custom rules could be simplified more or it should be possible to use a different language, other than the ones that the solution is already using. They should add other languages into the mix. You need some advanced customers in order to use the custom rules or to use their rules in order to configure the IBM QRadar in a proper way. Usually, they find it very difficult, especially if they don't have the experience.

Sometimes it works and catches whatever we want, however, sometimes it doesn't work. That's in rare cases, however, that's one thing that they need to maybe enhance.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for three years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For stability, I'm not a customer who's using it on daily basis, however, from feedback that I'm getting from the customers who are attending to the solution, I've heard that this solution is stable. That's why it's in the leader area in Gartner. If you compare it to others in Gartner, it shows how their product is actually efficient. Whether I get QRadar, whether it's Splunk, whether it's LogRhythm, all of those products as a SIM are very good at that point. They're all quite reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. The product is scalable. A company shouldn't have trouble expanding it if they need to.

We typically work with banks and bigger organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been very good. They are helpful and responsive.

I've also learned a lot from the documentation, especially the online documentation. Due to the fact that I'm an official instructor for IBM, I have my other resources too, on the Learning Center from IBM. Documentation is not a problem. It's very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not overly complex. It's quite easy.

The deployment takes time, definitely. You've got to prepare for your solution so that it's going to work in spanning all the other devices too. That doesn't mean it's a complex process, it just means it takes a bit.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

IBM QRadar is pricey, and therefore, usually small enterprises are not able to afford it. Usually, probably most of the customers are usually large enterprises.

What other advice do I have?

I'm actually teaching IBM and some services such as IBM QRadar, as part of my work. I'm familiar with Splunk, however, I'm not working with it on a daily basis. I'm teaching that technology to others. I'm not a customer. I'm using it for teaching purposes. I'm working in a training center. I'm not dealing with it on a daily basis, however, I understand how the product works. We do sometimes help integrate it and work as consultants occasionally as well.

While 7.4 is out, we're currently working with version 7.3.

Overall, I would rate the product at an eight out of ten. There's more to be done on it, however, we are mostly pleased with its capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator, consultant
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Amit Bhatnagar
Senior Manager Information Security at Conduent (formerly Xerox Services)
Real User
Top 20
A user-friendly, stable, and solid product with internal AI and good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a pretty solid product for the type that it is representing. It is a CM solution as compared to Splunk or ArcSight from HP. It is also user friendly. It comes with some internal AI as well, in which it automatically maps multiple lots from unrelated devices and makes a smart decision to link them back and create an offense based on that. It is a smart tool."
  • "A lot of information that we receive for the devices is IP-based, but it would help if we could have a default dashboard in which we can add more details about the assets for which we are receiving the information. For example, if it is a Windows or Linux device, we only get the IP for that particular device. We don't really get the name and other details of that particular device. For that, you have to drill down into your own asset management system. It would be good to have a place where we can probably add this information so that we don't have to look into other tools."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it from the compliance perspective. We need this solution to comply with HIPAA and PCI because our clients require HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance. We also use it for log management, primarily security logs, and to some extent, for operational activities, even though this tool is actually not meant for operational tasks. We do keep track of errors in our appliances like hardware, storage, and network switches through QRadar.

The main or core solution is on-premises. There is an extended arm, which is in the cloud as well for cloud integration.

How has it helped my organization?

Security incident and event management are actually the core functionalities of this solution. We receive security logs on this product and based on the received logs, we can create offense tickets that are forwarded to Netcool, which is another solution that we have. I don't have experience with that, but our integration is there so that any offense or security event is forwarded to Netcool, and a ticket is automatically generated in ServiceNow for that offense. This level of automation that we have for security-related events is done through this solution. There's no manual work involved, which obviously takes away a lot of load from the individuals who are managing the security side of it.

What is most valuable?

It is a pretty solid product for the type that it is representing i.e. SIEM. It can do automatic correlation based on the traffic that you are receiving to some extent. It has plethora of options available for third party application integration. For e.g CISCO Firepower, Palo Alto Dashboard for CISCO and Palo Alto Firewall respectively. Integration with Cloud based Log Sources is also supported via. parsers that support API Connect. This is helpful when pulling in Logs from AWS, Azure, GCP or other Cloud Based Solution like Carbon Black, Imperva etc.

What needs improvement?

A lot of information that we receive for the devices is IP-based, but it would help if we could have a default dashboard in which we can add more details about the assets for which we are receiving the information. For example, if it is a Windows or Linux device, we only get the IP for that particular device. We don't really get the name and other details of that particular device. For that, you have to drill down into your own asset management system. It would be good to have a place where we can probably add this information so that we don't have to look into other tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. As long as you have the proper connectivity availability, it is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our deployment covers North America, South America and part of Europe. The product is easy to deploy and scale. Almost everyone in our organization is using this solution because most of our projects rely on this. Because of the compliance requirement, most of our projects have to be integrated with QRadar. Each business unit or each program that we have in another environment has independent access to the solutions. They might not be the end users, of course, but at least every admin team of every program unit has access to this tool so that they can see what's happening in their environment.

It also supports multi-tenancy. So, if you have multiple clients or multiple tenants in your environment, you can create logical containers for them. From a logical point of view, you can create separate disconnected containers for each client so that they can only see their data.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is quite good. I would rate them a nine out of ten.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, we switched over from NNT to QRardar. This product is more detailed. Expensive but definitely more detailed! :)

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. These are hardware appliances. So, you need to rack and stack them. If the rack space, cabling, and other things are already done, which would typically be the responsibility of a data center team, it essentially takes three to five days. But this is only the core deployment. The fine tuning on top of it would take extra time based on the environment and how complex it is.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented by team that included me. We have an external team for its maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The IBM QRadar Licensing for the core Events(EPS) and Flows(FPS) is per second based. The licensing is perpetual and surely expensive but the output of the Product makes it worth your money. 

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend this solution. I am pretty okay with it, and I don't have any issues with it. It has some competitors like Splunk and LogRhythm. Symantec has its own SIEM solution. ArcSight, LogRhythm, and Splunk are in the first quadrant for the Gartner research. They are leaders in their products, and they know what they're doing. It also comes down to what your company is into, how does it fit into a particular environment, and how compatible it is with a particular environment. I could have gone on the Splunk path and probably said the same thing for it as well. 

I would rate IBM QRadar a nine out of ten. It is a pretty solid product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Md Saiful Hyder
AGM, Enterprise Solutions at Omgea Exim Ltd
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible and scalable with good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a distributed application, meaning that a customer can stack small and then scale it so that they can expand pretty effectively. You can use, basically, the same product in an SMB or a large enterprise."
  • "Right now, if you look at the compatibility, if you need to deploy QRadar in a physical appliance you have only two choices of server, their own or a Lenovo server. In today's world, you cannot keep something tied to such a big brand. Clients want to be able to use whatever type of server they want."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for some compliance, including military compliance such as PCIDSL, ISO 27001, and ISO 27002, and then some other specifications around them. There are also some industries that need to analyze the log and events, and then build and create some rules to put forward.

What is most valuable?

The solution has very good Watson Analyzer integration. It's one of the key differentiators if you compare it to other solutions. 

The solution offers very good BSM support. There's 400 BSM support out of the box. That's a huge advantage. with it, you are actually adding almost all the devices that are available in an IT environment.

This is a distributed application, meaning that a customer can stack small and then scale it so that they can expand pretty effectively. You can use, basically, the same product in an SMB or a large enterprise. 

You can deploy the solution and leave it. It's very unfussy.

When it comes to deployment, it's very flexible.

What needs improvement?

Right now, if you look at the compatibility, if you need to deploy QRadar in a physical appliance you have only two choices of server, their own or a Lenovo server. In today's world, you cannot keep something tied to such a big brand. Clients want to be able to use whatever type of server they want. It's very limiting for many. You need that flexibility to deploy on any Intel platform.

IBM doesn't have people in every corner of the world. Oracle, for example, is actively training and certifying people so that companies will have access to local connections. IBM is lacking this, and therefore it can be difficult to get qualified support when a customer needs it. They should try to replicate the Oracle approach to training and certifications.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last three years or so. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It's reliable. You don't need to worry about bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's pretty much a set and forget kind of setup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales well. It's stackable, which means you can start small if you want and then just stack more and more. It's perfect for any size of organization, from small to large.

We have sold this solution to six organizations, however, as a whole, we have around 10 customers in Bangladesh. Their sizes vary.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of some of the IBM support we recently have received, we've had some issues. While it should be 24/7 support, sometimes we have to wait an extended period. Our customers have had to wait an extended amount of time - in some case like two or three months. Some support we used to get was from the US team and they were good. However, support from elsewhere isn't really that great, and certainly not up to their level of service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It's very straightforward.

Since it is coming with a predefined image, anybody can actually deploy this on a VM or ia physical appliance. The deployment is flexible.

A control installation takes four to five hours to initialize the console. After that, deployment is dependant on the customer requirements. However, simply initializing the appliance takes two to four hours depending on the allocated resources, therefore, it's quite quick.

What about the implementation team?

From a product perspective, we have three persons in the product team. However, in the deployment and support team, we have five people. We tend to sell and help implement this product to our customers.

What other advice do I have?

We're using the latest version of the solution.

We are a reseller. We're selling the solution to end customers.

Whenever there is a requirement, a security requirement, or an AFM requirement, we actually position IBM QRadar. We proactively promote the solution and the market, so that we can build a community around QRadar. We're trying to build a community around QRadar so that we can increase sales. We need to have local resources to promote the products. Therefore, we are trying to double up that community of QRadar users. We're doing knowledge sharing among our network. We're changing information so that we can have a knowledge-based group so that we can promote the product to more customers.

While I'd recommend the solution, I'd caution that, for any IBM product other than hardware, the local resources are not that great as they are not often available. I can see why some customers are afraid to add this product. It's different from, for example, Oracle, which is doing product training everywhere and is actively certifying people. 

Overall, aside from support issues, we've been happy with the solution. I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
SuhailWagle
Cyber Security Consultant at Gulf Business Machines
Reseller
Top 20
Great integration capabilities with excellent scalability potential and an easy setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable aspect of the solution is the integration capabilities on offer."
  • "Technical support could be improved by a bit."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for log collection and security incidents as well as event management.

How has it helped my organization?

We benefit the most from the integration on offer. IBM QRadar offers a solution to our enterprise customers, and certainly, the admin has been benefiting from it, in terms of having more visibility on what's happening on the network in terms of events, flows, et cetera, and all in real-time. 

What is most valuable?

In general, the product is awesome. It's almost perfect.

The most valuable aspect of the solution is the integration capabilities on offer. It's very helpful to have so many options.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The stability is good.

We've found the scalability to be excellent.

It offers all of the specifications of the hardware that we need.

What needs improvement?

The performance of the solution could be improved. Right now, it's the weakest aspect. I wish it was better.

Technical support could be improved by a bit.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for five years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. It's reliable. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There's nothing better than QRadar when it comes to scalability. You can scale it to 100,000s of events per second. It can be scaled as much as you want. It has no limitations to it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. On a scale from one to ten, I would give them an eight. They could do better, however, we are mostly happy with their level of support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It's quite straightforward. If a company implements this solution, they shouldn't have any issues with the setup process at the outset.

How long it takes to deploy depends on the size of the environment and the company. If it's a small enterprise, it can be done basically in a week or so. It's all about not just the department, however. It's all about collecting the log sources to integrate into it. That is where the process takes time. If the log sources are put together, things become much easier to handle. It's quicker and easier to define the rules, correlations, and reporting. The most time spent at the outset is in collecting the log sources and getting the log sources to send the data to.

The deployment process doesn't need many people. It depends on the deployment structure at first. If it treats a distributed architecture, of course, you need a couple of guys to be on board. However, then it's not only about deploying the solution, it's all about integrating the solution with different products or different platforms. That is where the time goes in. It's not a one-person job. Right from the application database, metro securities, and different controls that are in place, they all need to be integrated into the center. If we're talking about an enterprise, the team in an enterprise is equally responsible for waiting for those things to integrate.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The NEMA licensing structure is very easy. It's far better than the previous licensing structure they had. They charge you based on the number of events per second and flows per second, and that's the beauty of it. The rest of the components are complimentary. That's it. It's not a complex process of licensing anymore. It's very simple and straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

We are resleers of QRadar.

In general, we have been quite happy with the solution. I would rate it nine out of ten.

We get excellent visibility in every aspect. It's easy to handle incidents when you really have everything in one place. You begin to know exactly what's happening on a network, and how the systems are performing and behaving.

When you compare it to other products, what I would advise is you look at how long they have been in business. This product has been in business for a very long time. You also need to look at the other integration factors, such as forensic, as they're very important. When it comes to forensic, nobody does better than what IBM Qradar Forensic does. There are other factors too - like its Watson integration, and all those things really play an equally important role.

It's not only about just the SIM, or your goals towards is going to be in building the SOC, Security Operation Center. It's all about automation as well. The integration should also look into automation capabilities. That way, you will be able to scale it up to build up a proper SOC.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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