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Cisco or Trend Micro? The best breach detection systems around

Given the current threat landscape and the fact that attackers are finding new ways to bypass traditional security, it's no surprise that many companies are turning to the use of breach detection to protect their systems.

Independent testing organisation NSS Labs has evaluated eight of the leading BDS vendors - BlueCoat, CheckPoint, Cisco, Fidelis, FireEye, Fortinet, Lastline, and Trend Micro - for security effectiveness, performance, and total cost of ownership.

The security effectiveness test looked at detection rate, anti-evasion capabilities, device stability and reliability and time to detect. Cisco came out on top with a 99.2 per cent overall effectiveness score with Trend Micro second on 96.2 per cent, Checkpoint and Lastline tie for third on 95.9 per cent. Worst performer is FireEye on 51.8 per cent.

Assessed on performance, BlueCoat and Fidelis both offer higher throughput rates. The front runners for detection all have similar throughput rates with FireEye again bringing up the rear. Lastline lags behind the others for devices with 4.5 and 1.7Kb responses, but on 'real world' traffic patterns it's on a par with Cisco, Trend Micro and the others.

Looking at total cost of ownership (TCO) BlueCoat comes out on top at $50 (£32) per protected Mbps followed by Fortinet on $76 (£48) and Lastline on $106 (£68). Cisco does less well here with a TCO of $228 (£145) per Mbps. FireEye again brings up the rear on $541 (£346) thanks to its lower throughput rates.

NSS also calculated a Security Effectiveness value indicating whether a product is underpriced, overpriced, or priced accurately depending on the performance and overall security effectiveness. A product with a Security Effectiveness value that is higher than its purchase price can be considered good value for money. Looked at in these terms the top four are BlueCoat, Fortinet, Lastline and Fidelis.

The full reports are available for NSS Labs subscribers. You can download a security value map with an overview of the findings free from the NSS website.

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