The Challenges of Using an Intrusion Detection System: Is It Worth the Effort?

Rodrigo Werlinger ; Kirstie Hawkey ; Kasia Muldner ; Pooya Jaferian ; Konstantin Beznosov

13 June 2007

Abstract: An intrusion detection system (IDS) can be a key component of security incident response within organizations. Traditionally, intrusion detection research has focused on improving the accuracy of IDSs, but recent work has recognized the need to support the security practitioners who receive the IDS alarms and investigate suspected incidents. To examine the challenges associated with deploying and maintaining an IDS, we analyzed 9 interviews with IT security practitioners who have worked with IDSs and performed participatory observations in an organization deploying a network IDS. We had three main research questions: (1) What do security practitioners expect from an IDS?; (2) What difficulties do they encounter when installing and configuring an IDS?; and (3) How can the usability of an IDS be improved? Our analysis reveals both positive and negative perceptions that security practitioners have for IDSs, as well as several issues encountered during the initial stages of IDS deployment. In particular, practitioners found it difficult to decide where to place the IDS and how to best configure it for use within a distributed environment with multiple stakeholders. We provide recommendations for tool support to help mitigate these challenges and reduce the effort of introducing an IDS within an organization.

Keyword(s): Intrusion Detection ; Usable Security ; Collaboration ; Qualitative Research ; Security Tools ; Organizational Factors ; HOT Admin ; issnet

Published in: R. Werlinger, K. Hawkey, K. Muldner, P. Jaferian, and K. Beznosov. The challenges of using an intrusion detection system: Is it worth the effort? In Proc. of ACM Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) , pp 107 - 116 , 2008:

The record appears in these collections:
Refereed Conference Papers
Usable Security

 Record created 2009-04-27, last modified 2013-05-22

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