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Tools for obtaining a big-picture view of a security infrastructure

Are there any tools that can provide me with a comprehensive, "big picture" view of my security infrastructure (including my firewalls, VPNs, IDS and desktop security), and allow me to manage these tools from a central location? If so, are these products worth the expense?

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There are a few products that are being advertised as providing you with the "big picture," in that they can accept alerts, alarms, syslogs and other audit or intrusion data from many different firewalls, IDS and others, and provide an overall picture of your network. Some of them even have nice graphic interfaces to help you understand what is happening.

Conversely, most, if not all, of these tools are form reporting, not management. That is, while they can be a central spot for reporting, they can't actually allow you to make configuration changes for all the systems they monitor.

Whether the reporting capability is "worth the expense" without the added configuration capability, is something you need to decide for yourself.

Two products that are in this category are Security Manager from NetIQ and Spectrum Security Manager from Aprisma.

For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity resources:
Best Web Links: Infrastructure and Network Security
Best Web Links: Product Reviews/Buyer's Guides

This was first published in April 2002

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