Changing Landscape

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-03-29 Print this article Print

We also recommend that it managers take a long, hard look at the changing security landscape.

Security policy setting is likely to move up the food chain, with day-to-day security operations merging into the general IT department. Management tools that govern IPS devices are just as important as the "speeds and feeds" capabilities of the devices themselves.

The ability to securely distribute an update to IPS devices scattered throughout the enterprise, especially as the devices gain specialized protection features, will often depend on whether the IPS is installed at the network perimeter or inside the data center.

One of the most basic questions that must be answered before evaluating an IPS is how much traffic is on the network, both at the perimeter and in the data center. Most IPS makers offer a family of products for meeting a variety of needs, including devices with multigigabit speeds for data center use.

Another factor that IT managers should consider before evaluating an IPS is the amount of change likely to occur in the network, especially changes in traffic types. The more that traffic types change, the more difficult it will be to effectively implement an IPS.

Most security systems, from firewalls to VPNs, work better when network change is restricted. However, this holds especially true for IPSes: Because traffic filters must be changed when traffic is added to the network, an IPS could become a roadblock to fast network changes.

Even so, we think network IPSes will have a positive impact on network security and ultimately make IT management easier.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at

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Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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