Operational environment

Rebecca Gurley Base offers advice for the operational environment of an intrusion-detection system in this tip.

Operational environment
Rebecca Gurley Bace

Excerpted from Intrusion Detection, by Rebecca Gurley Bace, published by New Riders.

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When designing a response mechanism [to an intrusion of your secure system], an obvious consideration is the nature of the operational environment in which the intrusion-detection system is operating. The alarm and notification requirements of an intrusion-detection system that has a number of attended control consoles lining the wall of a network operations center are likely to be quite different from the requirements of an intrusion-detection system installed on a desktop system in a home-based business.

The information provided by the intrusion-detection system as part of the notification also depends on the environment. Network operations center staffers might prefer to use products that provide details about low-level network traffic (contents of fragmented packets, for instance). A graveyard-shift security manager might consider anything beyond a simple alarm with a message to contact the proper person to be worthless.

Audible alarms are perfectly suitable for installations in which one person is responsible for monitoring the results of multiple intrusion-detection systems. Such alarms can be a massive annoyance for those managing multiple operations on a complex network from a single console.

Visual alarms and activity graphs may be of value to installations that have a full-time operator who sits in front of the system console. They are especially helpful when monitoring other components of the security infrastructure (such as encryption or firewalls) that might not be visible from the management area.

Visual alarms are likely to be irrelevant to operators who are not present to view them. Color-coded alarm status displays are of little value to operators who are color-blind (as are a significant percentage of military system operators) or to those who are visually challenged.

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Related book

Intrusion Detection
Author : Rebecca Bace
Publisher : Macmillan Technical Publishing
ISBN/CODE : 1578701856
Cover Type : Hard Cover
Pages : 368
Published : Jan. 2000
Summary:
Intrusion detection is a critical new area of technology within network security. An intrusion-detection system serves as a system alert for unauthorized access for networks and systems connected to the Internet. This comprehensive guide to the field of intrusion detection covers the foundations of intrusion detection and system audit. Intrusion Detection provides a wealth of information, ranging from design considerations and how to evaluate and choose the optimal commercial intrusion detection products for a particular networking environment.


This was first published in January 2001

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