IDS is a security application that monitors network traffic to detect unauthorized activities and raise alerts. But unlike an IPS, it cannot prevent the detected threats from happening.
IPSs use their knowledge of typical attack patterns to identify and stop cyberattacks. They can drop malicious traffic or reset connections.
Intrusion Detection System
Most companies today understand that they must implement a firewall and other security systems. However, they may need to realize that they must also deploy an IDS and an IPS. These visibility tools can be the difference between catching bad actors before they penetrate a company’s firewall and being unable to do anything about them.
An IDS uses sensors across a network or on devices to monitor traffic. These sensors look for patterns of behavior that deviate from a predetermined normal. The IDS will then alert the security team to strange activities that should be investigated further, such as a login occurring outside of working hours or new devices connecting without authorization.
The disadvantage of an IDS vs IPS is that it can only detect the signature of known attacks and activity. It cannot take action to prevent an attack from happening, which is where the IPS comes in.
Anomaly detection systems that use heuristics and pattern matching can be more accurate than signature-based IDS systems. However, they are still prone to false positives (attackers spoof IP addresses or the source of an attack, for example).
Once detected, the IPS can act based on the rules and policies configured. It can then stop the attacker from accessing sensitive data and other resources on a host or block them from getting back into the network. The IPS is also better equipped to prevent threats from spreading through the network by blocking or removing malicious software and applications that have already infiltrated an organization’s defenses. This provides a much greater level of protection than what an IDS can offer. Many organizations deploy an IDS and an IPS within their infrastructure, using the latter as a complement.
Intrusion Prevention System
In addition to detecting malicious activity, an IPS can prevent attacks. This is accomplished by analyzing network traffic in real-time, looking for suspicious patterns that don’t fit common patterns that an IDS would detect, and blocking such threats before they can cause damage to or theft of data.
Unlike an IDS, an IPS takes action to prevent a threat from taking place by imposing a security policy at the enterprise network level. This prevents attackers from entering the network and stealing sensitive data or accessing privileged accounts.
An IPS can enforce policies based on the type of network activity, the kind of activity that a particular server is doing, and more. For example, an IPS can block traffic outside the organization but allow connections between employees in different offices.
While an IPS can be used independently to scour the network, it’s not uncommon for teams to combine it with an IDS and a firewall. By doing so, enterprises can take the most effective approach to protecting their networks from malicious activity.
When a threat is discovered, an IPS will typically alert the team by sending a log of the activity to a log management system or pagers. This blog provides valuable forensic information when it comes time to investigate a successful attack.
An IPS can be more sensitive to unusual behaviors and generate false positives. Still, it’s much better to have an overly sensitive IPS than one that doesn’t detect any attacks. By contrast, a firewall can block known threats very well but often needs to pay attention to evasion techniques or misidentify them as legitimate. This can be very frustrating for IT teams looking to prevent attackers from gaining entry to the network.
If you’re deploying an IDS or IPS for your business, you must ensure it fits your security strategy. Both can help you stay ahead of cybercriminals, but the best solution for your company depends on various factors, such as what you’re trying to accomplish and how complex your network is.
Firewalls are great for protecting a company from external threats, but they’re limited in what they can do by what they can detect through traffic and internal system activities. IDS can fill in the gaps left by firewalls by monitoring a more comprehensive range of threats.
Both IPS and IDS solutions monitor network activity, alert when they find something suspicious, learn through machine learning to minimize false positives, and log what they’ve found so you can review their performance. However, IPS takes the next step after detection and can prevent attacks from spreading, allowing you to stop them immediately.
Unlike IDS, which analyzes traffic based on what it knows about previously known threats, IPS uses anomaly detection to recognize unusual patterns in data organically without relying on previous detection. The IPS solution can then alert security staff and take automated actions such as dropping the detected packet, stopping the flow of malicious activity, or resetting connections to avoid further damage to your infrastructure and customers.
IPS and IDS must be constantly updated with the latest threat signatures to keep up with cybercriminals and detect new attacks. Because of this, both systems require regular maintenance from trained employees. Additionally, both tools need a well-trained technical team to manage them and deploy custom settings that work for your specific risk factors. If you need a strong IT team or can’t afford to maintain these tools, investing in an MSP or MSSP that can deliver these services as a managed service may be a better option.