Monday, March 03, 2008

Best. Quote. Ever.

2003: "IDSs [intrusion detection systems] have failed to provide value relative to its costs and will be obsolete by 2005." (Gartner, "Gartner Information Security Hype Cycle Declares Intrusion Detection Systems a Market Failure")

2008: "Our adversaries are very adept at hiding attacks in normal traffic. The only true way to protect our networks is to have an intrusion detection system." (Robert Jamison, Under Secretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS)

I will have more to say about this in a future Snort Report.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Richard! Just another example of industry analysts inability to understand the technology. Too bad infosec managers everywhere follow Gartner blindly.

Joshua Rieken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oledb said...

I would be surprised if thats what Richard was trying to say, especially if you've read his previous posts. IDS is far from obsolete. What I take away from that, is that only the people who listen to the drivel published by Gartner are to blame. And guess what, the guy that made that idiotic statement, is now some researcher emeritus at Gartner ... nice

Anonymous said...

I think that the truth is somewhere in-between. IDS was extremely useful before malware started encrypting its communications. Now it's primarily useful for detecting the initial attack, which is rarely going to be encrypted (note that this was always one of the things that IDS could detect--it's just that it was also useful for detecting virus transmission and communication at one time.)

As security-conscious programming becomes the norm, we'll see IDS get less and less useful for detecting attacks, and useful largely for detecting bad user behavior (users who trigger the intrusion themselves by going to a malformed webpage, downloading trojans, etc.) If those connections start getting encrypted, I'm not sure what IDS will be useful for.

oledb said...

I still think the percentage of traffic encrypted on any given network is still pretty low, but I guess that depends alot on sensor placement. Obviously a sensor monitoring primarily SSL web traffic won't see much. For me, suddenly seeing encrypted traffic to 85.255.0.0/16 or some other suspect external network raises alot of red flags. To that end I don't see IDS going away anytime soon. I do see IPS going away and becoming merely a firewall component for blocking misuse type applications and well known recon and exploit methods.

shadow said...

"as security-conscious programming becomes the norm, we'll see IDS get less and less useful for detecting attacks"

I've always thought that it would be a good idea to get your developers together with your analysts and make custom signatures specific to your environment. If this was the way IDS was actually utilized I can't imagine it becoming obsolete so quickly. Unfortunately almost everywhere I look people have a poor understanding of how to effectively deploy and utilize IDS. It's a sad world.

Oh, and Gartner makes the baby jebus cry.

g said...

While I don't put much stock in Gartner's reports, DHS isn't such a great source for a network security strategy eiter... Remember all this?

Richard Bejtlich said...

g, there's nothing like repeated intrusions to convince a site that it needs monitoring. :)