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Big IPSes Hit Vegas

IBM-ISS, McAfee breathe new life into intrusion prevention

LAS VEGAS -- Interop -- Here come the hulking, mega-IPSes: IBM-ISS and McAfee today each rolled out high-end intrusion prevention systems at the Interop conference.

Despite frequent criticism about the limitations of IPS technology, big-name vendors continue pumping out new products. (See IPS: Still Playing Catch Up and IDS/IPS: Too Many Holes?) Both IBM-ISS and McAfee are pulling out all the stops for their new multi-gigabit IPS boxes, aimed at large enterprises, and in IBM-ISS's case, at carriers as well.

IPSes today are basically islands, but they will get more cooperative and "correlative in nature," says Gene Schultz, author of Intrusion Detection and Prevention and CISO and CTO of Hightower Software.

"IPS' promise has been plagued with some bad implementations [in the first generation] -- some that locked up entire IT infrastructures within seconds," says Schultz, who will give a presentation on the future of intrusion detection here today at Interop. "Some people got stung by the weaknesses in the first round of IPS products." (See IDS in Mid-Morph.)

IBM-ISS rolled out Proventia Network Intrusion Prevention System GX6116. It's geared for carrier and large enterprise networks, handling up to 15 Gbit/s with protection for up to 6 Gbit/s of network traffic. "That's about three times of what's been offered before today," says Greg Adams, business line executive for IBM-ISS's network IPS line.

Adams says the new GX6116 is a direct response to requests from IBM-ISS's carrier customers, who wanted an IPS platform they could use to deliver secure, value-added services to their customers. "Secured data transmission is in huge demand." IBM-ISS also has a managed security services offering that carriers can brand as their own, he says.

IBM-ISS prides itself in de-emphasizing signatures in its IPS boxes, instead using a protocol analysis approach. "We don't use signatures as our main security mechanism," Adams says. The company plans to add a 10-Gbit/s Ethernet interface to its Proventia line as well, he says. "Our IPSes are already IPv6-aware."

The GX6116 is priced at $188,995 and will ship on June 8.

McAfee, meanwhile, rolled out one of the first network IPSes for 10-Gigabit Ethernet networks. "10-Gigabit Ethernet is exploding," says John Vecchi, director of product marketing for network security solutions at McAfee. The IntruShield M-Series is aimed at both the network core and data centers for high speed as well as IPv6 networks.

Among other risk management and integration announcements here, McAfee also announced IntruShield 4.1, new software for the IPS family that integrates network and systems security collaboration and risk management functions, including its Foundstone line of products.

"This is going to provide the network teams with the same visibility that systems teams get on all that happens. This will integrate with our EPO platform" as well, Vecchi says. "They can ask to see in real-time all the host details... what's the MAC address, the user name, what the last version update was."

IntruShield 10-Gigabit Ethernet IPS will ship in the second half of the year, and IntruShield 4.1 will be available this month.

In related IPS news here, Reflex Security unveiled a Gigabit IPS here today that uses Intel Multi-Core chips for multi-Gigabit throughput. The Interceptor 1000 is available now and priced at $35,000 list, with an average street price of $28,000.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
  • McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE)
  • Reflex Security Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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