IPS Solutions Get Smarter

NFR Security and V-Secure systems tune protection levels automatically to help prevent intrusions.

As large security vendors try to squeeze more speed out of high-end intrusion prevention systems, a few smaller vendors are poised to introduce IPS solutions that can adjust protection levels dynamically and lock down vulnerable assets before attacks commence.

NFR Security Inc., of Rockville, Md., and V-Secure Technologies Inc., of Saddle Brook, N.J., are each set to roll out updated products that rely on adaptive filtering and automation to relieve security administrators of much of the tuning and daily maintenance intrusion prevention systems usually require.

The two companies approaches differ slightly, but the goal is the same: faster reaction times to shield servers from automated attacks.

NFRs Sentivist 5.0 system, which will be announced this week, combines data on network changes and vulnerability scans with information from IPS sensors to perform what the company calls Dynamic Shielding of network assets.

Sentivist is composed of a Protection Center, or management console; a Protection Engine; a Network Profiler; and a number of Smart Sensors at strategic points throughout a network.

All the components work together to correlate data on events occurring across the network to determine whether the events are related and if any action is required.

For example, if an attacker is performing reconnaissance on a network, traffic would likely be sent to several discrete assets on the network.

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about testing intrusion prevention systems.

A host-based IPS would record this traffic as separate attacks against each server.

Sentivist, however, can perform a high-level correlation of those probes, see that theyre all coming from one IP address, and then block all traffic from that address.

All this can be done without the intervention of an administrator.

The systems Dynamic Shielding technology can also detect new assets as they come online and automatically move to shield them from traffic until they are completely patched and correctly configured.

In addition, Sentivist gives administrators a clearer picture of how serious an intrusion attempt is via its Confidence Indexing, which assigns a numerical score to each event.

Next Page: Praise for automation.