Cisco ASA 5510 with IPS Module

Posted on 2006-04-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I am interested in hearing from anyone that knows about or uses the IPS features in the Cisco ASA.  I'm looking to see how's it used, best practices, etc.  How do you like it? User friendly?  What kind of ongoing administration do you do with it?  Do you do more logging or actually blocking certain traffic?  I look forward to your responses.

Question by:rvthost
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 16542055
If you are familiar with Cisco IDS, then you'll have no problems with Cisco IPS, as they are virtually the same.  The IPS software runs on an Intel/PCI/Red Hat core within the ASA, along with PIX v7.0 and a subset of the VPN3000 software.
Taking a step back, what are you looking for, and why have you concluded that IPS features are an answer to your problems?
If you get led down the Cisco path, bear in mind ASA technology, plus their IPS, is relatively immature technology and there are many ways to defeat it with rate-based and zero-day attacks.  As Cisco IPS is signature based, they need the signature before they can block the exploit.  If a new exploit is released into the wild, there will be a period of time before that exploit is discovered, and a signature included in the IPS code.
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 16544300
Tim, thanks for your comments.  We currently have a PIX that will be replaced later this year, most likely with the ASA 5510.  I'm still toying with the IPS module.  I am not familiar with Cisco IDS, and quite frankly, not real familiar with any IDS.  I'm wondering if it's a decent starting point to become familiar.  The main objective is to begin learning, so we are better able to handle future challenges as we open more services to the public.
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Tim Holman earned 2000 total points
ID: 16548707
A good grounding could be to start with the free versions of Smoothwall or Snort to gain grounding in firewall/IDS, then look at applying the 2 principles to whether or not you need more advanced IPS-style protection.
Don't discount host-IPS, like Tripwire, or specific tools designed to protect webservers -Teros, Netcontinuum, Netscaler and the likes.
Is there anything specific we can help with here?
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 16548899
Tim - Thanks for the info.  Nothing specific at this time, but I'm sure there will be!  Thanks again.

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