Many techies are confused about IDS vs. IPS. These are the two main tools used in identifying cyber attacks. They monitor unusual traffic and protect your network.
Read on this post to have a clear understanding of the two. Furthermore, you will also get to know about the types of intrusion detection systems, types of intrusion prevention systems, and a lot more.
IDS vs. IPS
The IDS analyzes the network traffic and recognizes the malicious activities by the patterns. On the other hand, IPS prevents malicious packet delivery.
In simple words, the IDS detects while the IPS prevents the attacks.
What is IDS?
The full form of IDS is an intrusion detection system. This network security technology detects vulnerability exploits in a computer or an application. It only detects the threats that are present outside of a network infrastructure.
IDS is not a part of a real-time data exchange path between the receiver and the sender. This listen-only device monitors the traffic and gives the results. It can only provide the results and can’t take any action to prevent the malware from affecting the system.
This software application scans a system or a network and then alerts the administrator. It is important to configure it the right way so it can recognize the difference between normal traffic and malicious activity.
Types of Intrusion Detection System
The following are the four main types of IDS.
Network IDS (NIDS)
This independent software examines the network traffic, monitors the hosts, and then identifies the intrusions. NIDS connects to a network switch or a network hub and then gains access to the network traffic.
There are sensors placed on the choke point of the network in order to monitor the traffic. These sensors analyze the individual packets of the network for any malicious traffic.
Host-based IDS (HIDS)
Here the host has an agent that monitors the application logs, system calls, and other activities of the host and identifies the intrusions. The sensors in this IDS have a software agent.
Perimeter IDS (PIDS)
It identifies the intrusion attempt location on the perimeter of an infrastructure. This IDS makes use of some advanced cable technology that is fitted on the fence of the perimeter.
It detects the intrusion on the fence, and if it finds any, then triggers an alarm.
VM Based IDS (VMIDS)
It monitors by using a virtual machine. You need not have a separate IDS while using it as it can monitor all activities. This is the most recent IDS.
What is IPS?
IPS full form is the intrusion prevention system. It detects and prevents threats that are identified. Such a system monitors your network continuously and looks for possible threats and malware.
Furthermore, it captures the information about such incidents and reports than to the administrator of the system for preventive actions. The IPS basically controls the network and protects it from attacks.
Types of Intrusion Prevention System
The IPS not only detects malicious activities by scanning the network packets but also prevents them. The following are the types of IPS based on their functionality.
The host-based IPS works on a single host and makes sure that there are no malicious activities in the internal network. If any activity is found with an abnormal signature, the host-based IPS detects it.
Moreover, to get more details of that activity, it scans the network. This IPS doesn’t work on the entire network and operates on a single host on which it is deployed.
This type of IPS works on the wireless network. It monitors the wireless network and checks all the activities going on there.
If an activity with a malicious signature is found, then it prevents it from entering into the network. This is the most commonly used IPS these days as most of the connections are now wireless.
It is deployed on the network to prevent malicious activities. The network-based IPS monitors the entire network.
Network Behavior Analysis
It understands the network behavior and the activities going on into the network. Detecting the malicious packets, blocks those packets to prevent any harm to the network. It keeps you safe from the Dos attack and other privacy violation attacks.
IDS vs. IPS vs. Firewall
These 3 are quite important components of a network.
There are different types of firewalls that perform actions like traffic filtering and blocking.
On the other hand, the IDS detects malicious activities, whereas the IPS detects and prevents the malware as per the configuration.
While using a firewall, you have to configure some rules, and based on those; it allows the traffic to pass. The traffic that doesn’t meet the rules configured isn’t allowed to pass through.
The firewall is dependent on the ports and the source and the destination addresses.
IDS works as a passive device that monitors the data packets compares them with a signature, and then alerts of any suspicious activity.
The IPS works in an inline mode and blocks the data packets not meeting the signature patterns to prevent the attack.
The firewall filters the traffic by the port number and the IP address while the IDS and IPS inspect the real-time traffic and look for the traffic patterns.
In simple words, the firewall doesn’t analyze the traffic patterns. It is the first line of defense. IDS and IPS are places after the firewall.
Recommended Read Stateful vs. Stateless Firewall
IDS and IPS are used for network security. They both analyze the network traffic for some known cyber attacks. The IDS is a monitoring system, whereas the IPS works as a control system.
In IDS, human intervention is required to look out at the results and perform the next action while the IPS drop the malicious packets right away. By knowing the IDS vs. IPS difference, network security can be improved.
Now the question arises which one to buy among these two?
You should go for an IDS if all you want is visibility, buy the IPS if you want to have control.