CrossNodes Briefing: Network Security Suites - Page 3

 By Gerald Williams
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  • Pager alert:   The security suite pages the operator whenever an alarm is triggered. Unauthorized intrusion attempts at the firewall generally trigger these types of alerts.
  • SNMP support:   SNMP agents and support for the SNMP standard can help unify reports and allow the IT manager or operator to access security information from anywhere on the network.
  • Remote configuration:   Many devices now support remote configurations. This capability provides easier access to the device when an IT manager needs to change a parameter or a policy.
  • Downloadable updates:   Firewalls and virus software undergo constant revisions as vendors react to new threats. These updates should be readily available and easy to apply.
  • Consolidated reporting:   With multiple components, the IT manager or the operator faces the potential of receiving constant alerts. A consolidated report and customized filtering can help limit those alerts to the most important conditions.

Taking the Time to Get It Right
IT managers know that good security requires time. Reacting to breaks in security does not ensure the safety of the network or the data. Instead, IT managers must carefully assess the real risk and place a value on avoiding that risk. E-commerce companies will find that the risk of losing customer data carries a large price tag. Other companies may find that they do not perceive the cost of losing data or having its network compromised warrants a full commitment to security. Once a value is set, selecting the appropriate network level of security suite becomes easier.

Gerald Williams serves as Director of Quality Assurance for Dolphin Inc., a software development company. Williams has extensive background in technology and testing, previously serving as Editorial Director with National Software Testing Labs (NSTL), Executive Editor with Datapro Research, and Managing Editor of Datapro's PC Communications reference service.

This article was originally published on May 7, 2001
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