Another industry watcher, Current Analysis principal analyst for enterprise security Paula Musich, calls the IBM appliance innovative in that it adds "three new malware detection engines that focus on exploit payload detection, Web application protection and file and content inspection."
Sourcefire has already released a next-generation IPS, she points out, adding, "I think we'll see some overlap between next-generation firewall and next-generation IPS products in the market." She concludes, "I'm aware of at least one enterprise that is evaluating both for the same project. Right now, the market is highly fragmented, and vendors that describe their products as next-generation firewall, UTM appliance and next-generation IPS are all competing for the same budgets."
John Cloonan, IBM program director for threat protection in IBM Security Systems, says the XGS 5000 has an approximate 3Gbps of throughput, and represents the "moderate end" for traffic. However, IBM plans to release a wider range of appliances with varying throughput levels based on its next-generation IPS technology in the future.
He says one advantage in the fine-grained controls the XGS 5000 permits is that you could set it up to allow users to read personal email but "maybe not the have access to the attachment" if that was deemed a security risk. And "if I know someone is going to a website known for malware, I can block that." The XGS 5000 can work with IBM's QRadar security information and event management product as well.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: email@example.com.
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