IDS criticisms kindle debate

Wednesday, 25 June 2003, 11:09 AM EST

A Gartner Inc. report that called intrusion-detection systems a failed technology that isn't cost-effective evoked fervent reactions last week from users, vendors and analysts on both sides of the argument.

Some concurred with Gartner's position, saying IDSs are difficult to manage and generate far more data than is useful.

"I couldn't agree more," said Eric Beasley, network administrator at Baker Hill Corp., an application service provider in Carmel, Ind., that replaced its IDS with a Web application firewall. "IDS did little to increase our overall security," he said. "All I got was information overload."

Others said that despite the problems, it's premature to completely write off IDS technology.

"I think that broadly describing IDS as a market failure because of product shortcomings is a bit alarmist," said Eric Goldreich, manager of technology at Latham & Watkins LLP, a law firm with 1,500 attorneys in Los Angeles. "The existing solutions are not perfect, but they are much better than nothing at all."

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