Tripwire aims to lock down routers, switches

Working from the idea that intruders can't succeed in doing much lasting damage to your network if they can't make changes to files, Tripwire on Monday announced a new version of its security lockdown software, Tripwire for Routers and Switches.

Tripwire for Routers and Switches -- formerly Tripwire for Routers -- monitors all the routers and switches on a network, determining baselines of activity and preferred configurations, and tracks all changes made from a single console, said Dwayne Melancon, vice president of marketing, service and support at Tripwire, based in Portland, Oregon.

The software can be configured to check for changes at any regular interval or on demand and to notify administrators if changes are found, he said. Those changes can then be accepted or rejected. The software also employs a system of policies and rules for determining acceptable behavior for monitored devices, he said.

The new version adds support for Windows NT/2000 and Cisco Systems Inc. Catalyst switches to its existing support for Solaris and Cisco IOS routers, he said.

To implement the system, users need only dedicate a computer to it and run the application. The software can be installed and begin monitoring the network within an hour, he said.

The software also allows for automatic restoration of older configurations, monitoring of network devices as groups and applying policy to those groups and integrity checking of both startup and configuration files, Melancon said.

Though software like this has benefits when it comes to security, IT administrators will find it useful for other reasons as well, Melancon said. Data collected by Tripwire shows that the vast majority of misconfigurations or network outages experienced by companies are not due to malicious behavior, but to human error. Such human error can cost businesses -- especially those that sell online -- large amounts of money, but that concern is eliminated with Tripwire for Routers and Switches, Melancon said.

In tight economic times, which have led to staff reductions, an automated product like this is preferable as it allows more work to be done by fewer people, he said.

Targeted at companies with large networks, network operations centers and those who incur heavy costs when their networks go down, Tripwire for Routers and Switches is available worldwide now. The software costs US$4,995 for the console and an additional $249 for every network device monitored. A special promotion, however, offers a five-device license for $2,900 until the end of the year.

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