As one of the most reliable technologies, network intrusion detection system (NIDS) allows the monitoring of incoming and outgoing traffic to identify unauthorised usage and mishandling of attackers in computer network systems. To this extent, this paper investigates the experimental performance of Snort-based NIDS (S-NIDS) in a practical network with the latest technology in various network scenarios including high data speed and/or heavy traffic and/or large packet size. An effective testbed is designed based on Snort using different muti-core processors, e.g., i5 and i7, with different operating systems, e.g., Windows 7, Windows Server and Linux. Furthermore, considering an enterprise network consisting of multiple virtual local area networks (VLANs), a centralised parallel S-NIDS (CPS-NIDS) is proposed with the support of a centralised database server to deal with high data speed and heavy traffic. Experimental evaluation is carried out for each network configuration to evaluate the performance of the S-NIDS in different network scenarios as well as validating the effectiveness of the proposed CPS-NIDS. In particular, by analysing packet analysis efficiency, an improved performance of up to 10% is shown to be achieved with Linux over other operating systems, while up to 8% of improved performance can be achieved with i7 over i5 processors.
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