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Choosing the right intrusion prevention technologies and product is a complex task, but following these six steps will make it simpler.

IT professionals are acutely aware they need stronger protection technologies to fill gaps that firewalls alone can't address. Network intrusion prevention systems (IPSes) have been promoted as cost-effective ways to block malicious traffic, and detect and contain worm and virus threats; they can also be used to monitor network activity and assist in compliance requirements.

The IPS market is overflowing with products with a wide spectrum of features that are suitable in a wide array of environments. That means you should be able to find the right one for your enterprise--if you do your homework. In the IPS world, it is especially easy to fall into the trap of buying what a savvy vendor wants to sell you rather than what you need.

To decide what type of IPS is right for you, follow our six-step strategy, from asking why you're buying an IPS to testing the product in your network.

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This was first published in February 2007

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