Detect vs Protect Of Network Intrusion Systems

Detect vs Protect Of Network Intrusion Systems

In today’s world, cybercrime has become one of the fastest-growing forms of criminal activity across the globe. According to a recent study, cybercrime will most likely increase by 15% annually over the next few years, reaching USD 10.5 trillion by 2025. That said, here’s a quick question; does your company have all it takes to identify and contain network intrusions in your environment?

In case you don’t know, a network intrusion is any unauthorized penetration of a digital network that often leads to the stealing of valuable network resources. Unarguably, no organization has a network system that’s 100% immune to cyber attacks. However, to successfully mitigate network intrusion, every company needs to have a good Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Protection System (IPS) in place. So, here’s the burning question: what exactly is IDS and IPS, and what is the difference between the two security strategies?

Both intrusion detection and intrusion prevention are effective approaches to reduce cyberattacks and block new threats. The former is more of a reactive security measure that helps to identify and mitigates ongoing attacks. However, the latter is a proactive measure that helps to block any potential attacks.

In the rest of this article, I’ll further discuss IDS and IPS and their significance to cybersecurity. That’s not all; you’ll also get to fully understand the differences between the two security strategies.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Generally, an intrusion detection system (IDS) is a type of system that monitors networks for anomalous activities and traffic patterns. As soon as it discovers attackers are using a known cyber threat to steal data from the network, it immediately alerts or reports such activities.

Furthermore, you need to understand that it’s not all intrusion detection systems that only detect suspicious activities and report. Some are capable of taking action as soon as they detect any moves by hackers to steal data from your network. Interestingly, these systems can go as far as blocking traffic sent by attackers from suspicious IP addresses.

Main types of IDS

There are two key types of intrusion detection systems out there. They are host-based IDS (HIDS) and network-based IDS (NIDS).

Host-Based IDS

The host-based intrusion detection system is a type of IDS system designed to help organizations protect their network resources. The system continuously monitors several different intrusion activities, including event logs, rootkit detection, application logs, user policy enforcement, system logs, and file integrity.

One of the benefits of HIDS systems is that they are effective in protecting the security system from direct attacks. Apart from that, they also detect unauthorized activities on the system and alert for further action.

Network-Based IDS

The network-based intrusion detection system (NIDS) is a type of IDS system designed to monitor and detect any suspicious activity on your network. Unlike HIDS, a NIDS system checks every small piece of data entering the network. Of course, the purpose of that is to ensure none of them contain any malicious content that could pose a serious threat to the network.

One of the benefits of network-based intrusion detection systems is that they effectively protect both the network and network resources. Apart from that, the systems are also capable of protecting against DoS attacks.

However, it’s worth noting that NIDS systems aren’t without their issues. One of them is that they are prone to false positives, a situation where the system flags a security vulnerability that you do not have.

Other types of intrusion detection systems are the signature-based intrusion detection system (SIDS) and the anomaly-based intrusion detection system (AIDS).

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

As the name suggests, an intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a type of system designed to prevent intrusions. Unlike the IDS system that detects intrusion, IPS primarily functions to protect the security system from intrusion.

Furthermore, like the IDS system, IPS also monitors and analyzes the network traffic for malicious activities. However, since the systems are often placed in-line, they tend to take action immediately before that attack harms the network. 

IPS can act by dropping the block of data transmitted across a network or denying the packet entry to the network. That’s not all, the system can go as far as blocking the connection which prevents the packet from gaining access to the network.

Types of IPS

Based on functionality, there are different types of intrusion prevention systems out there. As earlier mentioned, the IPS systems function by scanning the network packets at the entry-level. However, you need to understand that the function of the systems isn’t limited to just that.

That said, here are the different types of intrusion prevention systems:

  • Host-based intrusion prevention system 

The host-based intrusion prevention systems are IPS systems that function on a single host. They monitor and ensure that malicious activities don’t find their way into the internal network. The weak side of host-based intrusion prevention systems is that they don’t handle the security of the entire network.

  • Network-based intrusion prevention system 

Unlike the host-based system, a network-based IPS system is designed to monitor and prevent the entire network from suspicious activities. As soon as it discovers any malicious activities, such as denial of service (DoS) and unauthorized usage, it protects the network from them.

IDS vs IPS: The Key Differences Between the Systems

While there are lots of differences between an intrusion detection system and an intrusion prevention system, the key difference is that the former passively monitors the network traffic to detect attacks. As for the latter (IPS), it actively analyzes the network behavior, preventing attacks as soon as it discovers one.

Furthermore, IPS systems function by restraining packets from delivering – however, this only happens when the contents of the packet are malicious. On the other hand, IDS aren’t designed to manipulate network traffic.

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