An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is a monitoring system that detects suspicious activities and generates alerts when they are detected. Based upon these alerts, a security operations center (SOC) analyst or incident responder can investigate the issue and take the appropriate actions to remediate the threat.
Intrusion detection systems are designed to be deployed in different environments. And like many cybersecurity solutions, an IDS can either be host-based or network-based.
Due to the different levels of visibility, deploying a HIDS or NIDS in isolation provides incomplete protection to an organization’s system. A unified threat management solution, which integrates multiple technologies in one system, can provide more comprehensive security.
Beyond their deployment location, IDS solutions also differ in how they identify potential intrusions:
Intrusion Detection Systems and firewalls are both cybersecurity solutions that can be deployed to protect an endpoint or network. However, they differ significantly in their purposes.
An IDS is a passive monitoring device that detects potential threats and generates alerts, enabling security operations center (SOC) analysts or incident responders to investigate and respond to the potential incident. An IDS provides no actual protection to the endpoint or network. A firewall, on the other hand, is designed to act as a protective system. It performs analysis of the metadata of network packets and allows or blocks traffic based upon predefined rules. This creates a boundary over which certain types of traffic or protocols cannot pass.
Since a firewall is an active protective device, it is more like an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) than an IDS. An IPS is like an IDS but actively blocks identified threats instead of simply raising an alert. This complements the functionality of a firewall, and many next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) have integrated IDS/IPS functionality. This enables them to both enforce the predefined filtering rules (firewalls) and detect and respond to more sophisticated cyber threats (IDS/IPS). Learn more about the IPS vs IDS debate here.
An IDS is a valuable component of any organization’s cybersecurity deployment. A simple firewall provides the foundation for network security, but many advanced threats can slip past it. An IDS adds an additional line of defense, making it more difficult for an attacker to gain access to an organization’s network undetected.
When selecting an IDS solution, it is important to carefully consider the deployment scenario. In some cases, an IDS may be the best choice for the job, while, in others, the integrated protection of an IPS may be a better option. Using a NGFW that has built-in IDS/IPS functionality provides an integrated solution, simplifying threat detection and security management.
Check Point has many years of experience in developing IDS and IPS systems that provide a high level of threat detection with very low error rates, enabling SOC analysts and incident responders to easily identify true threats. To see our NGFWs, with integrated IDS/IPS functionality, in action, request a demonstration or simply contact us with any questions. Furthermore, you’re welcome to learn about preventing attacks on IoT networks and devices in this webinar.