Tuning your IDS ruleset to limit false positive alerts and silence non-applicable rules is a critical part of running any competent IDS security strategy. Despite that fact, we’ve always been surprised at how difficult distributing, maintaining, synchronizing, and tuning an efficient set of rules can be.
More mature security shops have had to solve this problem, so they’ve turned to many of the great community and paid tools that are out there. We have seen sophisticated teams leverage everything from popular configuration management tools such as Puppet or Chef, to relying on bash scripts that utilize rsync or SCP to synchronize rules files and configurations across sensors. At the end of the day, none of these solutions are ideal as they still require manual effort and create a system operations expertise barrier to rules tuning.