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February 2002

How security market needs transformed Network Flight Recorder

Network Flight Recorder (NFR) was originally built to be exactly what its name indicates: a data recorder/evidence collector/audit tool. In many ways, NFR was the first tool developed in this new network forensic analysis market space. However, due in part to timing and customer needs, NFR focused more on the IDS aspects. "We were a little ahead of ourselves with NFR," says Marcus J. Ranum, founder and CTO of NFR Security. When NFR was first introduced, demand was higher for IDSes rather than a system that could act as a general-purpose network analyzer, data monitor and recorder. "What we did, because everyone kept comparing us to ISS [Internet Security Systems], was program our system to act primarily as an IDS -- but we maintained our audit focus." The first generation of IDSes would look at traffic and signal when they saw something wrong. Most of those systems back-evolved so that they also logged traffic traces, packets, etc. NFR, on the other hand, actually evolved the other way. In addition to its IDS capabilities, NFR ...

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