Frequently asked questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Guard and Signals.

General
What is Search Guard?
Search Guard is a comprehensive Security and Alerting suite for Elasticsearch and Kibana that provides authentication, authorization, encryption, audit logging and alerting to ensure data security and compliance.
Why should I use Search Guard?
Search Guard enhances the security of your Elasticsearch cluster by providing advanced features like role-based access control, encrypted communications, and detailed audit logs, ensuring your data is protected against unauthorized access.
Who can benefit from using Search Guard?
Organizations of all sizes that use Elasticsearch can benefit from Search Guard, especially those in regulated industries such as finance, healthcare, and government that require stringent security measures.
What are the main features of Search Guard?
The main features of Search Guard include TLS encryption, role-based access control for indices, documents and fields, user authentication, multi-tenancy, audit logging, and support for LDAP, Active Directory, Kerberos, SAML, OIDC and other authentication backends. Search Guard provides features for compliance regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, SOX or ISO, and provides a versatile and robust alerting solution to scan your data for anomalies.
Which versions of Elasticsearch does Search Guard support?
Search Guard supports nearly all versions of Elasticsearch, starting from Elasticsearch 2.x and including Elasticsearch 8.x. For more information, please check the version matrix page on our docs.
Pricing & Licensing
What is your licensing model?
Search Guard is dual licensed. All basic security features in the Community Edition are free, while you need to obtain a license in order to use the Enterprise or Compliance Edition in production. We license Search Guard per production cluster, not number of nodes. Our license has no limits regarding the number of nodes, so you can scale your cluster indefinitely without additional costs. All other systems, like development, staging, integration, test and the like are included in the license. Scale your cluster, not your cost!
What types of licenses do you offer?

Search Guard comes in three flavors:

  • Community Edition: This is our Open Source, Apache2-licensed forever-free version of Search Guaed. It offers essential and comprehensive Security features and a completely free Alerting solution.
  • Enterprise Edition: The Enterprise Editions offers advanced Security and Audit Logging features, and integrates with third-party authentication and authorization technologies and providers.
  • Compliance Edition: Offers all features of the Enterprise Edition, and adds special features on top that help companies staying compliant with regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, SOX and ISO
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