Many IPS devices fall short in other areas, as well. They often perform only a single layer of analysis, execute traffic modifications and interpretations and rely on inspection of individual segments or pseudo-packets. Their detection methods are based on vulnerability and exploits, banner matching or shell detection. Their updates are generally delayed and their evasion coverage is extremely limited. Evasions can easily exploit the limited inspection scope by spreading attacks over segments or pseudo-packet boundaries.
Packet-oriented pattern matching is insufficient as a means of invasion detection due to the need for a 100% pattern match for blocking or detection. Advanced Evasion Techniques (AETs) possess the ability to utilize a vast multitude of combinations to infiltrate a system, rendering the likelihood of a 100% pattern match for every possible combination nonexistent. It is simply impossible to create enough signatures to be effective.
AETs exploit the weaknesses in the system, often being delivered in a highly liberal manner that a conservatively designed security device is incapable of detecting. In addition to using unusual combinations, AETs also focus on rarely used protocol properties or even create network traffic that disregards strict protocol specifications.
A large number of standard IPS devices fail to detect and block AETs, which have therefore effectively disguised a cyber attack that infiltrates or even decimates the network. Standard methods used to detect and block attacks generally rely on protocol anomalies or violations, which is no longer adequate to match the rapidly changing and adaptable AETs. In fact, the greatest number of anomalies occurs not from attacks, but rather from flawed implementation in regularly used Internet applications.
An additional issue that arises with many IPS devices is the environment in which they are optimized. Optimization typically takes place in a clean or simulated network that has never suffered a complex and highly elusive attack.
Resistance to normalization
Resistance to data normalization does not typically arise from the advanced security it promises, but rather the impact it may have on a network. When the security design flaw is found in hardware-based products, network administrators may resist the upgraded security measure due to the necessity of significant research and development for redesign. Additional memory and CPU capacity are also required to properly implement a data stream inspection that comprehensively protects against AETs.
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