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14.7. Early Warning Systems

Early warning systems get data from a number of different network sensors, such as a firewall, network IDS, host IDS, antivirus protection, honeypot, or honeynet solutions, and place the alerts into a central database. The alerts are processed and correlated, and an appropriate warning is generated. Symantec generates alerts using the DeepSight early warning system. In DeepSight alerts, you also can see the correlation of a possible new attack with a set of known vulnerabilities that were previously logged into the BugTraq database, as well as the appropriate prevention suggestion to deploy patches and an exposure level to the possible or identified threat.

The alerts of such a system can be extremely valuable for quick response to a new attack that has already been seen on other systems. In many cases, you have a chance to respond to an attack before it reaches your networkthus early warning systems do not directly protect your system. Instead, you supply data to such systems and, as a result, better protect the community as a whole.

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