BitNinja vs. Imunify360 - Which Offers The Best Security Solution for Your Linux Server

As a hosting provider, every day can seem like a gamble: over 450,000 new pieces of malware are detected every day in an incredible competition to make newer and more dangerous malware. Luckily, there is fierce competition on the prevention side too, to build smarter, lighter and better security solutions. We believe the contest to build the no.1 prevention tool is immensely useful for the industry, but let us show you where this race is headed to.

Both BitNinja and Imunify360 are well-known security suites for your Linux server. Both are complex solutions that enhance your security with the synergy of different modules.

In this article, we break down some of the benefits and features to help you pick the security solution best suited to your needs. To get a more comprehensive picture download the full comparison!

BitNinja vs. Imunify - A Quick Background on Each Server Security Platform

About Imunify360

Imunify360 is a comprehensive security suite for Linux-based web servers. The company also offers other solutions, such as Imunify AV, which centers on the anti-virus component. Therefore, we will concentrate on Imunify360 in this comparison.
Imunify360 provides antivirus, firewall, WAF, phishing notifications, and port scanning protection. 

About BitNinja 

BitNinja is a fully featured, multi-layered Linux server protection platform. 
Much like Imunify, you get a WAF, IP reputation anti-malware, port scanning protection and phishing notification systems. 
However, the two solutions approach these in vastly different ways, which we will delve into later, among other differences such as additional features like technical support and ease of use.

Dashboard and Management Features

  • Imunify360 integrates with popular control panels, such as cPanel, Plesk, Direct Admin, or CyberPanel. The integrated security dashboard is easy to use and easily accessible.

  • Imunify360 focuses on providing an automated process on a server-by-server basis, meaning each server is individually managed. You can choose to link the servers together with a bit of work, however, it still isn’t a fully streamlined experience.

  • Alternatively, BitNinja has its unified dashboard, where you have the freedom of managing the block and allow lists both for server clusters or on a per server basis.

  • While BitNinja is fully compatible with control panels, it’s also completely independent of them and works across all forms of servers, including shared hosting, managed service, VPS, and many more, no matter how big or small your cluster may be.

  • BitNinja’s installation process uses a one-line installer, so you can implement it on multiple servers with minimal effort. 

Depending on your use case, this category can go either way. So, we will call this one a draw.

However, we must say BitNinja’s dashboard is ideal for both large server clusters or just a single machine, for multiple server owners it can reduce workload and blind spots, and as a single server owner, you are not “vendor-locking” yourself with any control panels. If you choose Imunify360 as an owner of multiple machines, you will run into extra work while installing, configuring, and managing your cluster, which could rob you of some precious time.

Malware Scanning

  • Both BitNinja and Imunify360 have a powerful system that regularly checks your server from multiple angles, looking for file system changes or malicious activity.
  • Although Imunify can achieve great results and is capable of cleaning most malware files, its malware engine can chew up a considerable amount of resources when scanning and lacks some flexibility as you cannot add any user-level signature. Also, the preference for cleaning out malware files has some downsides to it.

  • BitNinja focuses on flexibility above all without being resource intensive and it lets you add user-level signatures. BitNinja will only quarantine files containing malicious code and clean files containing injected malicious code.

  • BitNinja has modules called Sandbox Scanner and JS Sandbox Scanner perform behavioral analysis to ensure no malware is left undetected.
  • BitNinja’s new YARA engine catches all types of malware such as JS, XML - it caught 12 million infected files since implementation!

  • Imunify360 offers a database cleaner that is more mature when compared to BitNinja’s beta database cleaner. 

Despite offering similar levels of protection, BitNinja provides a more flexible approach while imposing less load on your machine.

Bot Blocking

  • The two tools apply similar strategies against bot attacks, both uses IP filtering as the first line of defense. BitNinja has an additional layer, called URL captcha, that can be set on any URL and will automatically challenge all requests.
  • Imunify focuses on creating simplified reports so you can easily read the results of scans and attacks. BitNinja offers more detailed information regarding an attack, such as the request body itself.

  • Imunify simply blocks attacked ports, which leaves them without intelligence gathered from these IPs. BitNinja runs all attack data efficiently through a comprehensive defense system resulting in a false positive rate of about 0.0012% and an additional decrease in server load.

Due to the massive difference in IP reputation size BitNinja undoubtedly achieves better results. Also BitNinja’s efficient use of existing attack data allows server owners to maintain high levels of security with limited server load.

IP Management

  • Both software solutions let you whitelist or blacklist IP addresses and countries. However, with BitNinja managing these lists is much simpler for multiple machines.

  • Imunify360 reports an IP list the size of 15,000 entries. On average, BitNinja’s IP database is around 65 times larger than Imunify’s. BitNinja’s greylist contains one million entries on every machine.

  • This large number of IPs combined with BitNinja‘s lightweight footprint usually results in a reduced load of 20-25% compared to other security software.

Even though Imunify is no slouch when blocking IPs, BitNinja has an objectively better automated blocking rate, resulting in less “noise” traffic.

Web Application Firewall (WAF)

  • Imunify360 and BitNinja work Web Application Firewalls, and both offer similar performance levels. However, their implementation differs. 

  • While both use ModSecurity rules, Imunify injects them into the web server itself. BitNinja uses a separate NGINX instance, utilized as a reverse proxy, and as a result, BitNinja offers high levels of configurability.

  • As far as additional features, like Zero-day patching, both solutions offer these.

The two solutions offer very similar features and performance. However, the customizability of BitNinja, means it comes out slightly ahead.

Customer Support

  • Imunify360 offers free 24/7 customer support.

  • BitNinja offers support chat with response times of less than five minutes.

Wrap Up

So, when comparing BitNinja and Imunify360, which offers the better experience? It’s a hard call and will most likely come down to the extra benefits each offers.

In terms of security, both products offer similar levels out of the box, so we must look deeper to see their advantages and disadvantages respectively. 

Imunify is great if you work with one server, use one of the control panels it supports, and you aren’t using a smaller machine with limited resources such as a smaller VPS. Their larger footprint could lead to some severe system slowdowns. However, their database cleaner is a great benefit that BitNinja currently only offers in an early Beta stage. The Immunify360 UI is also specifically tailored to be more “human-readable,” which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preferences.

One of BitNinja’s most significant advantages is its unified dashboard, which can house any number of servers and does not rely on any control panel. Therefore, you don’t have a deeply integrated interface with the same control panels, and you must use BitNinja’s own. The smaller footprint and reduced load are also a huge benefit, especially on crowded machines, because we all know that response times are king when it comes to user satisfaction. Customizability is also another huge factor for many. Unlike Imunify, BitNinja gives you the freedom to configure each and every module to your liking. In terms of additional “features,” BitNinja has a faster customer support team with much lower response times. 

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