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Re: Integrated IDS/IPS/Firewall (Cisco ASA and Juniper ISG)
From: <sase () inofficenetworks com>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 15:42:00 -0400

Hey all
I would have to agree with the folks that an integrated solution is not
the best idea, 99% of the time.

Integrated solutions seem to be OK for SOHO, but not in an
medium-business to enterprise environment.  

The major advantages to going with multiple products for different
functions.

1. Scalability: Your components are not limited by their individual
functions.  If you're receiving a lot more email traffic that needs to
be filtered rather than web traffic, you can beef up your email
AV/content checking devices appropriately. 2. Independence:  In the
event that the system fails, you don't simultaneously lose your entire
functionality.  This is a battle that IT folks have to fight all the
time with their end-users.  In the event that your ids/fw/av appliance
dies.. You lose most of the functionality of your network (at least,
regarding the outside world,) to which the end users reply is 'I don't
care what's broken, just make it work.'  Whereas, if your statement to
the end user was 'certain web addresses are inaccessible at the time,
but email and all other functions are still working' the end user would
be that much more comfortable. 3.  Independence from vendor: you don't
rely just on Symantec, for instance, for your support, which can be
painful at best. 4.  Flexibility: I have yet to see one system that
'does it all' the way I want it to.  With multiple devices you can
service your needs the way you want to, and how you want to, without
making any compromises.  I guess part of my value to this is based on
the fact that I consider myself 'old school'  I still compile every
package I install on my machines, I still do 'advanced' configurations,
and never use wizards, or the sort.  My lower techs get angry with me
when I don't use PDM with PIX devices because PDM can't read my
configurations because they're too complex or acl's aren't written in
the standards that they use.  PS It makes me feel special!

Disadvantages:
1. More points of failure.. But I feel like this is mitigated by the
fact that you have component independence. 2. Cost: more units usually
means more money, but this may not be the case in certain
implementations. 3. Skill set:  If you're the point-click-shoot kind of
admin, learning multiple devices may not be feasible as far as your
skill set or more probable, your time allotment.  You could wind up
doing more harm than good. 4. More postings on fw wizards about the
subject.

-paul


---------------------------

Paul Matuszewski
Director of Network Operations
Five Elements Consulting Group
http://www.5ecg.com
V: (516) 933-9669 x202
F: (516) 620-0062
C: (516) 816-4871

-----Original Message-----
From: firewall-wizards-bounces () listserv icsalabs com
[mailto:firewall-wizards-bounces () listserv icsalabs com] On Behalf Of
Paul D. Robertson
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:15 PM
To: Firewall Wizards Security Mailing List
Subject: Re: [fw-wiz] Integrated IDS/IPS/Firewall (Cisco ASA and Juniper
ISG)


On Thu, 25 May 2006, sushil menon wrote:

hi robert i feel there is a good need for integrated appliance. i feel
even fortinet is a good box just like netscreen having

What makes you feel that?  Historically, vendors have done a *terrible*
job of loading multiple codebases onto a single system, and all these
products will come from different development teams inside a vendor.


ips,firewall,anti-virus. url-filtering and anti-spam in one single
box.

So, one failure of any one component at the right level and you lose AV,
firewalling, anti-spam and filtering- that seems like a major increase
in risk.

Plus- and this is the biggie- now you're not choosing the best-of-breed
of any of the services, you're getting whatever that vendor's good at
and then the rest of their stuff that most likely couldn't survive on
its own.

Paul
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
Paul D. Robertson      "My statements in this message are personal
opinions
paul () compuwar net       which may have no basis whatsoever in fact."
http://fora.compuwar.net      Infosec discussion boards 

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