Deconfusicating Network Intrusion Prevention (.pdf). "Deconfusicating" appears to be a fake synonym for simplifying. I bet that was supposed to confuse an IDS, but not an IPS. Funny that stopping an attack requires detecting it, but never mind.
Someone recently recommended I read this presentation, so I took a look. It's basically a push for Gartner's vision of "Next Generation Firewalls" (NGFW), which I agree are do-everything boxes that will eventually collapse into security switches or Steinnon-esque "secure network fabric." The funny thing about all those IPS deployments is that I continue to hear about organizations that utilize only a fraction or none of the IPS blocking capability, and instead use them as -- wait for it -- IDS. Hmm.
That still doesn't account for the major problem with a prevention-only mindset. Let's face the facts: there are events which transpire on the network which worry you, but which you can't reliably make a policy-based allow or deny decision. When business realities rule (which they always do) you let the traffic through. Where's the IPS now? It's an IDS.
There are also events for which you have no idea how to identify them prior to nontechnical incident detection. If you care at all about security you're going to want to keep track of what's happening on the network so you can scope the incident once you know what to look for. I call that one form of Network Security Monitoring (NSM).
At about the same time I saw the 2006 Gartner slides I read IDS in Mid-Morph, an interview with Gene Schultz, long time security veteran. The interview states:
Schultz says there are already signs of new life. For one thing, IDS data is being used as part of intelligence-collection for forensics, he says. "People are gathering a wide range of data about behavior in machines, the state of memory, etc. and combining it to find patterns of attacks.
Intrusion detection is one rendition of going more toward the route of intelligence-collection. Instead of focusing on micro-details like packet dumps, [security analysts] are looking at patterns of activity through intensive system and network analysis on a global scale, to determine what the potential threats are."
Schultz attributes this to a new breed of intrusion detection analyst, "more like an intelligence analyst, especially in the government."
I wonder if Gene read any of my books or articles? For the last five years I've defined NSM as the
collection, analysis, and escalation of indications and warnings to detect and respond to intrusions.
Chapter one from Tao is online and must say the word intelligence a dozen times.
Incidentally, if you're near Sydney I'll be teaching my NSM course on 25 May 2007. If you're near Santa Clara I'll be teaching at on 20 June 2007. Thank you.