Lauded long ago as a miracle pill for security operations, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) have been there and back again along the hype cycle curve. Now, as next-generation IPS (NGIPS) products are being put through their paces in real-world IT environments, the question is whether IPS will maintain its relevance in the enterprise or fade away as organizations put less emphasis on perimeter security and look to bundle similar feature in unified threat management and next-generation firewall deployments.
There's no real consensus answer to that question. But if you average out the noise from promoters of NGIPS and nonbelievers on either side of the table, a middle ground emerges. As with many re-engineered products in the pantheon of old-school security technology, IPS continues to maintain a valid place in enterprise IT security roster when deployed well and supported by skilled staff.
"Despite the significant trend of deperimiterzation [which has largely happened], IPS is still useful," says James Lyne, director of technology strategy at Sophos. "You may no longer depend on your network as the boundary of security, [but] it does not detract from the benefits of keeping your network clean and spotting unusual activity."
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