Complete Snort-based IDS Architecture, Part One

Thursday, 7 November 2002, 12:29 PM EST

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) are one of the fastest growing technologies within the security space. Unfortunately, many companies find it hard to justify acquiring IDS systems due to their perceived high cost of ownership (for example see Justifying the Expense of IDS by Kevin Timm and David Kinn). However, not all IDS systems are prohibitively expensive. This two-part article will provide a set of detailed directions to build an affordable intrusion detection architecture from hardware and freely available software. This discussion will avoid the classic "build or buy" debate and instead focus on building the system at a minimum cost.

Building often provides a definite cost advantage, especially for companies that are unsure about the long-term necessity of the IDS. Building it cheaply allows one to evaluate the technology with very little investment and without necessarily possessing sophisticated network security skills. That said, it is reasonable to expect that maintaining and tuning the IDS will require relatively advanced security knowledge.

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