Products of the Year: Intrusion-prevention systems

Information Security magazine unveils the best IPSes of 2004.

GOLD MEDAL: UnityOne
TippingPoint, www.tippingpoint.com
Rating: 82

Before there was the ubiquitous term "intrusion prevention," there was TippingPoint and its Unity-One inline appliance. TippingPoint's grand vision for automatically stopping attacks as they happen, as well as its unique lineage as a company, makes UnityOne a deserving gold award winner.

Unique among security startups, TippingPoint entered the IPS market as a publicly traded company. Its founders had a history of using their management framework as an incubator for new networking technologies, many of which were sold to infrastructure players.

TippingPoint set its sights on the security market in 2001 with the launch of UnityOne, one of the first inline traffic monitoring and automated response devices. There's no ambiguity about TippingPoint's value proposition: It's an IDS on steroids, with blazingly fast inspection and throughput speeds.

"It's the first IPS system that we can stick in front of any workload," says one director of information security. "It stops the bad stuff and lets the good stuff through at lightning speed."

TippingPoint is improving upon its foundation through the release of a number of appliances to fit the needs of various-sized enterprises. Its R&D team continues to innovate by producing an increasingly broad attack signature database, an optimized detection engine and more reliable automated response measures. While many enterprises shy away from depending on the auto-response capabilities of their IPSes, UnityOne shops use the appliance with a high degree of confidence.

"TippingPoint's engineers know what they are doing," says the CSO of a government agency. "The company is letting them drive the product instead of the sales people."

While the big boys of security and networking continue to build and acquire IPSes, TippingPoint's UnityOne remains in a class of its own. "It's a strong product that has lot of capabilities that suit our enterprise's needs," says a network specialist.

SILVER MEDAL: IntruShield
McAfee, www.mcafee.com
Rating: 72

USER COMMENT: "IntruVert's technology has been very mature since early on."

BRONZE MEDAL:ManHunt
Symantec, www.symantec.com
Rating: 67

USER COMMENT: "ManHunt is a best-of-breed solution that fits our IPS needs."

MORE 2004 PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR


This was first published in January 2005

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