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Optimize your network with due-diligent security controls [McAfee]

Client Computing | Posted on December 6, 2011 by Danielle Williams

Most companies already have some form of protection against cyber-threats and malware, such as anti-virus software. But the threat landscape changes at warp speed, and it’s hard to keep up with the latest threats, and even harder to manage a diverse set of security tools.

One solution you might want to consider in your security toolkit is a Network Intrusion Prevention System, or IPS, which is an out-of-the-box hardware- and software-based system that helps take the guesswork out of security.

Not only does an IPS solution protect against the latest threats — including malware, botnets and denial-of-service attacks — it also streamlines security operations and can even unify network security management across physical and virtual environments.

If the current solution you have in place is causing more management headaches than peace of mind, you might want to consider IPS. Here’s why: An IPS solution inspects network traffic in near real time, identifying attacks using known vulnerabilities, as well as attack patterns with unusual activity. Not only can an IPS solution help prevent attacks on your data, it can also provide proactive protection for unpatched systems and zero-day attacks.

According to research firm Gartner, IPS can be deployed as a “prepatch shield” to provide protection from attacks until patches have been deployed. This is typically much faster than an organization’s ability to patch their own systems, which can take days or weeks. In fact, many organizations never get around to patching certain vulnerabilities, while most IPS vendors deploy patches within 24 hours.

Gartner says advanced organizations are making “aggressive” use of IPS, putting proactive measures in place against targeted and zero-day attacks.

And there are plenty of IPS options to choose from, including those from more traditional security vendors as well as niche start-ups. One is McAfee’s Network Security Platform, which delivers the industry’s first and only complete ‘next generation network IPS’ solution as defined by Gartner, and is the leader in the past 5 Network IPS Magic Quadrant reports.

The Network Security Platform is a standalone security solution and does require an upfront capital investment. But it provides a high level of security effectiveness, scalable performance and next-generation controls — which basically means it does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to network security management. In fact, using carrier-class hardware, it can inspect more than 10 Gbps in a single device.

McAfee’s IPS offering combines advanced threat prevention and application awareness into a single device, with “context-aware” intrusion prevention and visibility into more than 1,100 applications. It also takes advantage of McAfee’s Global Threat Intelligence network, which helps prevent traditional and emerging attacks using geo-location data from sensors deployed around the globe.

Network intrusion prevention systems are designed to automatically identify network attacks and prevent malicious activity, while taking on the burden of management, updates and patches. If interested in learning more about this solution, get in touch with Softchoice’s McAfee Technical Architect, Jeremy Bandley, at





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