By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-02-09 Print this article Print

A Layered Approach IPS systems can offer significant benefits, despite their tendency to occasionally misidentify good traffic as an attack and the slight decrease in network performance as packets are checked for potential problems. But that protection needs to be balanced with the costs of keeping the IPS up-to-date with signatures and technology improvements to enable the device to identify attacks.

Testing these products reinforces one of my core beliefs: IT managers must take a layered approach to security. Strong firewall protection, a ruthless attention to detail when configuring servers and applications, and user education about the importance of anti-virus and anti-spam usage are part of the security picture.

All the indicators Ive seen—especially the growth in the amount and sophistication of spam—show that networks must have multiple defenses. The dominance of the vulnerable Microsoft desktop operating system and Internet Explorer means that a heterogeneous approach to network security will be a need of IT managers for years to come.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

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 csturdevant@eweek.com.

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