RE: Crossover Error Rate (WAS "Intrusion Prevention")

From: Rob Shein (
Date: 12/12/02

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    From: "Rob Shein" <>
    To: "'Raistlin'" <>, <>
    Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 09:55:50 -0500

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Raistlin []
    > Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 2:16 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Crossover Error Rate (WAS "Intrusion Prevention")
    > > Just as with an IDS, you can reduce
    > > one at the expense of increasing the other, but unlike IDS,
    > there's a
    > > commonly-known standard called the CER, or "Crossover Error Rate,"
    > That's not indicative, really.
    > In evaluating a system with that metric, you are supposing
    > that both kind of errors are equally costly. They could not
    > be (for example, in a biomedic system it is FAR better to
    > have a false alarm than a false negative !).
    Actually, that depends. There are situations where a false accept is
    worse than a false reject, and vice versa. The point of the CER is
    merely to keep vendors from being able to cook the figures by tuning
    systems unrealistically for tests. (See under "IDS vendors who claim
    zero false positives.") In the end, however, it has proven true that
    the lower the CER, the more accurate and reliable the biometric system
    is, regardless of the specifics. And my hope is that a similar method
    can be developed for network-based won't be a magic bullet for
    selection, but it would definitely clear some of the fog so that people
    who have to evaluate technologies can focus on their specific needs more
    than sorting out the truth from the half-truth.