Vendor tries to build a smarter watchdog

Officials at Palladia Systems Inc., a developer of autonomic computing systems, believe the company is riding the leading edge of the next wave of security event management tools.

Its system combines artificial intelligence and a rules-based approach to act on data collected from security devices and automatically respond to security events.

There will be plenty of skeptics for these self-healing claims, said Donna Coleman, Palladia's vice president, but she insisted, "It's not as big of a leap as you think."

Security managers already write scripts to cover what they know to be specific security issues, she said, but the real problem is getting to the data that will tell them how to accommodate the issues they don't know about.

Palladia's system, which will also be self-learning, would automatically sift through event log data and offer suggestions for how to better define the rules.

"It will allow the network administrator to go off and see what might happen and shorten the response time when an event actually happens," Coleman said.

However, as a nod to the pervasive paranoia among security managers, she said the system would allow administrators to handle events manually or automatically.

The first version of Palladia's system will be introduced in October, with the fully autonomic version expected sometime in the first quarter of 2004, Coleman said.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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