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Forrester Network Mitigation Report

I recently read the TechRadar for Security & Risk Professionals: Network Threat Mitigation, Q3 2009 by Forrester. This report reviewed 14 different threat mitigation categories. These included encryption, wireless IDS/IPS, UTM, Intrusion prevention, network access control,Web-content filtering and a few others.
It is obvious that the bad guys are highly organized and very skilled. The number and sophistication of attacks do not seem to be going down but instead increasing. Forrester identified three areas they see in their client companies:
  1. The current controls are either not able to prevent the type of threats we see today of the solutions and how they are used need to be re-thought.
  2. Companies fear inline protection. Even though many companies have successfully deployed Intrusion Prevention, there is a general fear the IPS will block legitimate traffic.
  3. Companies lack visibility into what is really happening on their networks. This is somewhat by design because what you do not know you do not have to address.
Forrester did a good job of grouping the type of technologies and providing a ranking on their business value. I agree in general with their assessments.
Technology
Business Value
Firewall Auditing
Low
Network Encryption
Negative
Network Threat Modeling
Negative
Network Access Control
Low
UTM
Low
Email Security Gateway
High
Network Firewall
High
Vulnerability Scanners
Medium
NBAD
Negative
IDS
Negative
IPS
High
Web Proxy
Medium
Application Firewalls
Low
Wireless IDS/IPS
Medium
Forrester states that NBAD is declining and will be replaced with and NBA. Further they predict NBA will likely be added to other security appliances. I agree with this assessment and vendors are working hard to integrate NBA into their Intrusion Prevention systems. Mcafee will be doing this soon as well as IBM/ISS and Cisco already does this.
One item I noticed and this is likely a mistake on the part of the authors is that they listed Snort/Sourcefire in the IDS only category.  While I agree with the general categorization of Snort as an IDS only I do not agree with Sourcefire being in this category and I doubt Martin Roesch would either.
Forester rates Network Intrusion Prevention as a High business value and I would of course tend to agree but I may be a little biased.  They see their clients replacing older IDS based systems with IPS and relying on this technology as a key control in their network.  Many vendors are beginning to add other features to their IPS devices. Companies like IBM/ISS have limited DLP functionality in their network intrusion prevention devices and IBM/ISS recently released  web application firewall functionality.
Network Intrusion Prevention continues to be a key control used by businesses and is only going to continue to grow. I believe we will see IPS become a platform for more services like DLP and NBA similar to how firewalls have integrated IPS, content filtering and other technologies.

Welcome

Hello,

This is the first post on the Intrusion Detection and Prevention blog. I plan to post information relating to these technologies, the vendors, etc. I hope you find it useful and interesting.