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November 2003

Security switches: Consolidation, performance and security in one?

"The first question I'm asked -- always -- is do I need a firewall and an IDS and an IPS? If I buy an IPS, can I get rid of either my firewall or IDS?" says Hart Rossman of SAIC, a research and engineering company providing information technology, systems integration and e-business solutions. "I've counseled that IPS doesn't replace firewalls -- at least at this point in time -- and it doesn't replace your switches," says Rossman, SAIC's system VP and technical director of enterprise security solutions. "But there's a strong case to be made that IPS can replace your IDS systems, depending on how far your IDS deployment is and how far your incident response plan takes advantage of IDS data." Security switch/intrusion prevention appliances are getting customer attention and some traction in the market. The prime reasons are consolidation and performance, says Vigilar's Joseph Dell. "Number 1 is consolidation," says Dell, technology director for the infosecurity and risk management consultancy. "A layered security model means ...

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