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February 2003

Tips and tricks for IDS deployment best practices

Security people love intrusion detection. IDSes allow us to play multiple roles: amateur detective, omniscient voyeur, would-be superhero. We can watch others, unobserved, as they tinker and tap at our gateways and rattle the doorknobs of other people's virtual offices. But while seductive, intrusion detection remains an overhyped and misunderstood technology because most companies have no clear idea what to do with it. The entire category of products needs to be reassessed if companies are to improve their security--not just make it more interesting. Many IDSes are expensive, and licensing and support fees are only a small part of the cost. Intrusion detection is also a costly diversion from real security. Tuning it, watching it and keeping it current are major drains on the time of security administrators and managers. Qualified security people are in very short supply, and their time would be far better spent addressing real and pressing security issues, such as hardening systems and applications or managing their patch ...

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