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Microsoft ISA Server 2000

Back in the world of software, we have Microsoft’s entry in the firewall market. Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server) is a fully-featured firewall with a number of bells and whistles that add considerable functionality and security.

RealSecure Network Sensor

RealSecure 7.0 is the result of the integration between RealSecure and the BlackICE NIDS sensor technology. It runs on a dedicated machine and acts as a NIPS sensor to monitor a network segment, looking for intrusions or suspicious activity. If an intrusion is suspected, it can respond by recording details of the event. It can notify the network administrator, reconfigure the firewall, or terminate the event.

Intrusion SecureNet System

This solution is supplied as software, desktop or rack-mounted. Each network sensor is a separate appliance, handing high-availability, high-security 10/100 or gigabit monitored segments.Running on a hardened OS, based on Red Hat Linux, in a small installation it can be managed using a web-based interface, software or optionally as an appliance.


This is a network-based IDS, supplied as an appliance. There are four versions of the NID-300 series – the difference being in the number and speed of the Ethernet interfaces. The top-of-the-range model has two 10/100Mbit and two gigabit network interfaces. One of these interfaces is always reserved for management, but the remainder can be used for monitoring. In this way, a single NID-300 can monitor load-balanced or failover WAN connections. By separating the management and monitoring interfaces, NID-300 can operate in stealth mode, as the monitoring interface does not respond to any network traffic or requests from any service on the monitored network.

Symantec ManHunt

This software network-based IDS product requires a dedicated machine running Solaris 8 on either Sun SPARC or Intel hardware. The hardware specification depends on the amount of traffic to be monitored, and gigabit monitoring interfaces are supported. We were supplied with a pre-installed system running on a Dell PowerEdge rack-mounted server – however, customers would have to provide their own hardware; prices quoted are for software only.

eTrust Intrusion Detection

This solution provides a network-based IDS, real-time session monitoring and internet/email content blocking. eTrust Intrusion Detection can be installed in standalone mode, or it can be distributed on separate machines. The intrusion detection program installs as a service under Windows NT/2000. As usual, the monitoring interface is a NIC in promiscuous mode, and therefore the presence of the IDS is concealed from the attacker.


NetScreen uses multi-method detection (MMD) in its IDS appliance, which also includes intrusion prevention options. MMD integrates stateful signature analysis with the detection of protocol anomalies, traffic anomalies, IP spoofing, layer 2 and SYN-flood attacks. Plus, it includes detection of ‘backdoor’ exploits and a network honeypot. The NetScreen IDP-100 is rated at 200Mbits/sec throughput, offering a choice of eight Fast Ethernet or two separate gigabit monitoring ports.


Remember the halcyon days of the dot-com boom, when analysts were insisting that no company worth its salt could continue in business unless they had a web presence? Their weighted words were sufficiently terrifying to ensure that businesses rushed to add that all-important ‘e’ to their trading, resulting in countless new web sites appearing.

Cobion OrangeBox Web

Cobion’s OrangeBox Web is a very similar product to DynaComm i:filter. Designed to integrate with a proxy server (for example, Microsoft ISA on Windows 2000/XP), it is also happy to sit on a number of popular Linux and Unix platforms. It can also be used as a proxy server in its own right if you have a small or medium-sized intranet network.

Symantec Web Security

Symantec Web Security is a product specifically designed to monitor the content of HTTP, HTTPS and FTP traffic. It takes the form of a proxy server that sits behind your firewall; with most firewalls it will operate transparently, but you have the bonus of integration with Check Point’s FireWall-1.

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