Top Intrusion Prevention System Appliance: A 9-Vendor Battle

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Sourcefire 7120

Cisco Systems acquired Sourcefire in July, spending $2.7 billion for the company's line of intrusion prevention systems. The 7000 series appliance range fits in line with competitor appliances tested by NSS Labs, and it is aimed at lower network performance requirements. The company's FirePower architecture provides standard IPS capabilities with application control, next-generation firewall features and advanced malware protection. Martin Roesch, the founder of Sourcefire and creator of the Snort network intrusion preventions system engine, remains at Cisco as vice president and chief architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group.

In NSS Labs testing, the 7120 received a 97.9 percent security effectiveness score and a total-cost-of-ownership calculation at $36.08 per protected Mbps, earning it a "Neutral" rating from NSS Labs engineers. The testing firm praised Sourcefire's Defense Center management tool but said some enterprises might find engineers to have a steep learning curve.


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