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IDS and IPS in 2004

JP Vossen foretells the roles of IDS and IPS in fighting off attacks in 2004.

From the Editors:
We've challenged our expert contributors to foretell what 2004 has in store for infosecurity. Read what all of our experts had to say, and let us know what you foresee in 2004.

JP is the Integration Manager for Counterpane Internet Security and a Technical Editor for SearchSecurity's sister publication Information Security Magazine. He is involved in various open source projects, including Snort, and he has previously worked as an information security consultant and systems engineer. Send JP your questions or comments on his predictions.

I predict that the lines between intrusion-detection systems (IDS), intrusion-prevention systems (IPS) and firewalls will continue to blur, especially between firewalls and the other two technologies. While all have similar end goals, they also each have very different philosophies, and firewalls are best suited for a middle ground. That's a vast oversimplification of course, but a useful one.

New worms and viruses will increase and continue to leverage network and service (daemon) vulnerabilities to propagate. As a result, technologies designed to detect and prevent this will become more widely deployed. That means that while IDS and IPS systems still suffer from various maturity problems including high false positive rates and extensive "care and feeding" requirements, they will become increasingly relied upon to detect and isolate new outbreaks.

Laptops plugged into unprotected home broadband connections will continue to bring worms inside the corporate firewall on Monday mornings, making the enterprise security perimeter that much more blurry. Aside from the increased use of detection and prevention tools as mentioned above, this will result in an increased focus on protecting remote end users and enforcing security policy with tools like personal firewalls, centrally managed antivirus and VPN clients, and hopefully, user education.

This was last published in December 2003

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