Network security continues to trend as one of the hottest topics in enterprise computing. Many network administrators rely on IPS and IDS as their first lines of defense against attacks. You’re probably wondering, what is IPS/IDS and how can it help increase my network’s security?
- IPS is short for Intrusion Prevention Services and this typically operates within your firewall to prevent malicious traffic from traversing across your network.
- IDS is short for Intrusion Detection System and this service provides administrators with insights on policy violations and malicious activity on the network.
These systems work to prevent unauthorized parties from penetrating your enterprise’s network. Most IPS/IDS systems work in conjunction each other. Network security devices that offer these services provide your administrators with the ability to analyze malicious activity on your network.
Using IPS/IDS, administrators can setup rules that automatically denies traffic from malicious hosts.
How Does IPS/IDS Work?
There are different methods in which IPS/IDS systems are able to identify malicious packets. Most systems will rely on signatures to identify malicious attempts at accessing your network’s resources.
These signatures are gathered from a database of viruses, malware and known exploits.
Other IPS/IDS systems are anomaly based. This operates just as you would expect it. Many IPS/IDS systems that are anomaly based use machine learning to detect malicious traffic. There is a downside to this method.
Since anomaly based IPS/IDS works on the assumption that malicious application are being rapidly developed, the system is prone to false positives when you develop and deploy custom applications.
How to Implement IPS/IDS
Many network security devices come standard with IPS/IDS. There might an additional fee from your network security provider which will allow you to use signature based IPS/IDS. This is because your firewall will have to reach out and fetch the latest signature databases on a daily basis.
Free methods of filtering malicious traffic exist and you can configure a server or a network security device to utilize these services. Some of the most popular IPS/IDS systems are:
Deflecting Advanced Attacks
While IPS/IDS is essential for inspecting, evaluating and permitting safe network traffic to and from your servers, it isn’t the only line of defense that you should implement.
One of the biggest threats to businesses is the emergence of DDoS attacks. In a Distributed Denial of Service attack, a hacker will typically use a botnet to begin sending junk packets to your public facing IPs.
In this scenario, a DDoS attack can make a website appear to be offline because the DDoS attack has consumed all of the bandwidth available to that specific server. While IPS/IDS can sometimes mitigate these attacks, other advanced techniques for DDoS mitigation might be warranted.
ColoCrossing offers its customers DDoS mitigation services that help your public facing servers stay online even during a sophisticated attack.
If your servers are hit by a DDoS attack, ColoCrossing will filter out the junk data packets to help you ensure that your mission critical services continue to operate without any apparent downtime to your customers.
While DDoS protection services are an additional fee, the investment is well worth it if you fear that your public facing servers are susceptible to a DDoS attack.
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