Real-Time Safety Combo - InformationWeek

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3/27/2003
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Real-Time Safety Combo

SecurityProfiling's intrusion-detection system alerts managers to attacks and remotely issues patches

With nearly 80 software vulnerabilities reported each week last year, IT security managers spend a big part of their day determining which ones need immediate attention and patching. SecurityProfiling Inc., a developer of security threat-management software, will introduce a product next month to ease that workload.

The Intelligent IDS, or intrusion-detection system, is designed to tell managers if their systems are vulnerable to a given attack and remotely issue any needed patches. The system is based on the widely used Snort open-source intrusion-detection system and SecurityProfiling's "logic engine," which is part of its SysUpdate patch-management software. The logic engine analyzes which patches are necessary for the systems a company uses by looking at operating systems, applications, and patches previously installed, as well as company policy.

One customer says the product saves a lot of time and effort. Landis+Gyr Inc., which provides utility metering products and services, had three staffers to update 400 desktop computers and 34 servers, says Major Sherwin, computer operations manager. Now Sherwin can redeploy those resources. "It's allowed me to take a vacation without having to worry if my servers are protected," he says.

Combining the intrusion-detection system with SysUpdate's logic engine means the security system will only issue alerts or alarms when specific computers and networks are threatened by a vulnerability or attack. "It's definitely a time saver for admins," says Spire Security research director Pete Lindstrom. "It makes sense to understand, in real time, which systems are vulnerable."

SecurityProfiling also has recently upgraded SysUpdate to add Solaris and Linux support. SysUpdate is priced at $17 per system, plus 20% annual maintenance, for installations with 10,000 systems. Intelligent IDS is priced at $15 per system for companies with more than 10,000 systems.

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