Re: Less well-known commercial IDS

Andrew Plato wrote:
I see a lot of discussion on this list to be about larger, more established IDS/IPS solutions. I'm just wondering if anyone has experience with smaller commercial IDS devices like the Symantec 7100 series? If so, what did you think? What were you comparing it to?

I think there are a lot of lower-cost IPSs. Some are good, some are
fair, many are lame. Symantec isn't one that comes to mind. It actually
is pretty expensive. My personal favorite is Fortinet. It's a UTM
(all-in-one) box. We sell A LOT of Fortinet and as a whole, customers
have been very pleased with its performance. And its IPS is based on
Snort, incidentally. Fortinet has the plus of having firewall,
anti-virus, VPN, and lots of other goodies as well.

I have heard good things about SecureWorks. However, they are a purely
managed IPS. I have one customer with Astaro, who says good things about
their product.

Many of my clients are too small to afford the more expensive IDS
And, the perception can be (correct or not is irrelevant) that SNORT
shifts the up-front costs to the management phase. I guess, if you
this is incorrect, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this, too.

Snort is resource intensive. It's a good IDS/IPS that requires a lot of
expertise and management to make it work effectively. Most small to
medium businesses lack such resources, as you have discovered. As such,
lower cost commercial IPSs like SecureWorks or Fortinet (both
Snort-based IPSes), give those customers the value of Snort as a
technology without requiring a lot of personnel resources.

Andrew Plato, CISSP
President / Principal Consultant

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In my opinion the Symantec 7100 series is actually a pretty nice IDS/IPS. I have pretty extensive experience with it and other IDSs and have found very little that I ask of it that it cannot do. I am not sure that I would call SNOT (Symantec Network Observation Technology) formerly known as ManHunt a low cost IDS. At one point the cost of the software version of it to observe a 1gb pipe in passive mode (IDS, not IPS) was $125k MSRP and did not include the E240 that they recommended for it. It is actually very well suited for monitoring multiple segments and boxes from a central location as it does its own correlation and aggregation independently of SSMS (Symantec's SESA nightmare). The nicest part of it being that the vast majority of new exploits/worms/etc breach RFC standards in some way, shape or form, or you are not always chasing down new signatures. Things such as code red, nimda, slammer, and others were seen out of the box as shipped without racing to get a signature plugged into it. If need be you can right your own signatures for it and pick/choose which appliances and interfaces you want the policies to apply to, I would not call this a SOHO IDS/IPS though. It is well suited for extremely large networks, just not tier 1 ISPs, but then again, most tier 1 ISPs are not attempting to do any real IDS/IPS for their millions of botnet subscribers.
disclaimer - I am not a Symborg employee or customer

-dogten, C²ISSP
Fight the power and the power will fight back
Your only as good as the system you hack
If you become a problem you will be replaced
Banned, shut down, erased !

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