Secure Your Network with Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems

An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a network-based system that monitors network traffic and looks for suspicious activity that could indicate a network security breach. It’s a security system designed to detect intrusion attempts into an organization’s network.

It captures network traffic data, processes it, and sends the information to intrusion prevention systems (IPS), which then take required action to stop the intrusion. A network intrusion prevention system detects malicious traffic and blocks network attacks. This system can help protect your network against various information security threats such as denial of service attacks, unauthorized access, malware, ransomware, etc. IDPSs have many benefits over traditional intrusion detection systems, including the ability to identify attacks at their earliest stages and prevent them from causing damage. Besides, they can alert security personnel of malicious activity without incurring additional costs or delays.

Basic Functions of an IDPS

An intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) can be deployed on network devices such as routers or firewalls and can use passive technology such as monitoring traffic to detect intrusions.

By monitoring network traffic for malicious activity, an IDPS helps ensure network security policies are being followed and that system resources are not being compromised. An IDPS is one of the most effective security tools in place to protect against malicious attacks on a network.

Functionalities of intrusion detection systems vary depending on their design and functionality. Some may only focus on the detection of network-based attacks, while others may include functionality for detecting attacks from within the network.

Types of Intrusion Prevention Systems

There are four main types of intrusion prevention systems: network-based, wireless, host-based, and distributed intrusion detection systems.

Network-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (NIPS)

NIPS are a powerful tool for protecting computer networks from malicious activity. They are designed to detect and prevent malicious activity as soon as it enters the network before it can cause any damage or disruption. NIPS detect suspicious activity and alert administrators to any potential threats. They can also identify potential vulnerabilities in the network and take the appropriate steps to protect the network from further attacks.

Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS)

WIPS are a critical security solution for wireless networks. A WIPS provides continuous monitoring of wireless networks to detect malicious activity such as unauthorized access, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and other malicious activity and alerts administrators to any suspicious activity in real-time. The WIPS also provides a detailed log of all wireless activity, allowing for further analysis. WIPS can be deployed as a stand-alone solution or as part of a larger enterprise security system. WIPS is essential for any organization that relies on wireless networks for communication and data transfer.

Network behavior intrusion prevention systems (NB-IPS)

NB-IPS are invaluable tools that actively monitor the behavior of users and devices on the network, allowing them to detect any anomalies that could signify a malicious attack. By constantly observing the activities of the network, NB-IPS can quickly detect and respond to threats as they arise. Additionally, NB-IPS can be configured to take automated actions such as blocking malicious traffic or alerting administrators to potential attacks.

Host-based intrusion prevention systems (HIPS)

HIPS use intrusion detection technologies to monitor system activity on individual hosts and detect any unauthorized or malicious activity. It then takes appropriate action to prevent, limit, or terminate the activity. HIPS can respond to threats by changing the security environment, altering the attack’s content, sending alarms, dropping malicious packets, resetting a connection, or blocking traffic from the offending IP address.

Signature-Based vs. Anomaly-Based Detection

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) use signature-based detection techniques to identify known attacks by comparing them to signature databases. However, they are not 100% foolproof; new and unknown threats may still be able to slip through.

Anomaly-based detection methods use statistical models and machine learning to detect any unusual behavior. By combining the power of machine learning algorithms with behavioral analysis and signature-based detection, anomaly-based intrusion prevention systems are able to provide a comprehensive view of the network and identify malicious activities quickly and accurately.

Most intrusion prevention systems require the configuration and management of policies before they can operate effectively. This can be time-consuming and may not be cost-effective for some organizations.

Components of IDPS

An IDS/IPS system is made up of several components, including a detection engine, a log analysis engine, a rule engine, and an alerting mechanism.

The detection engine monitors network traffic for signs of intrusion. This includes identifying patterns indicative of a potential attack, such as unusual or unexpected behavior or the transfer of large amounts of data.

The log analysis engine analyzes alerts and other data gathered by the detection engine to determine whether they require further investigation.

The rule engine uses pre-defined policies to determine what actions to take in response to detected threats, such as taking down a system or sending an email alert.

The alerting mechanism notifies authorized parties about potential threats.

The components of an IDS/IPS system can be implemented using various technologies, ranging from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products to custom-built systems. Choosing the appropriate technology for an IDS/IPS system depends on factors such as budget, existing technology infrastructure, the skill level required to manage it, and desired frequency and specificity of alerts.

Fortinet FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall

The FortiGate Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) offered by Fortinet is a robust security solution with intrusion detection and prevention capabilities that can protect enterprises against network-based vulnerabilities. This system features network-based virtual patching to protect against vulnerabilities, as well as SSL inspection and extended intrusion detection capabilities.

The FortiGate intrusion prevention system uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI/ML) technologies to detect malicious activity and prevent unauthorized access. It can automatically analyze network traffic to identify potential security threats, such as abnormal traffic patterns or sudden increases in traffic. When a threat is detected, the system can automatically trigger security actions such as triggering rate-limiting policies or alerting security personnel.

The NGFW from Fortinet is designed for security professionals looking for a complete intrusion detection and prevention system capable of protecting their organizations against network-based vulnerabilities. It offers comprehensive security services to address the needs of both small and large businesses.

If you’re looking for an intrusion detection system that fits your network requirements perfectly, try out FortiGate next-generation firewall solutions by contacting the Megawire team today.

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