Intrusion Detection System Vs Intrusion Prevention System

Intrusion Detection System Vs Intrusion Prevention System

Intrusion Detection System Vs Intrusion Prevention System – Network administrators rely on several tools to detect and respond to security incidents, with intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems among the most popular choices.

Intrusion Detection Vs Intrusion Prevention System

IDS and IPS systems share similar capabilities in that they both monitor network traffic and devices to detect security threats, but their key differences lie in what happens after they detect such an event.


Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPSs), unlike IDS tools that rely on signatures to detect threats, can stop attacks before they even take place by analyzing network traffic and detecting anomalies – such as unintended data flows or port openings – which could allow an attacker into your system. By acting quickly to stop an attack before it happens and reduce damage by taking preventative steps themselves. Unfortunately however, these solutions tend to be more expensive.

Global Market Insights reports that the global IDS/IPS market is expanding quickly, expected to hit US$3 billion by 2018 and more than US$8 billion by 2025. A variety of factors is driving this surge, such as rising ethical violations and cyber attacks.

An IDS offers many advantages to companies, from increased security and productivity gains, to helping identify malicious activity which might otherwise be difficult to spot with traditional means. Furthermore, an IDS can detect attacks underway and alert administrators quickly so remediation efforts can begin immediately – significantly shortening response time and saving companies valuable time and resources.

However, IDSs present several challenges that must be considered and managed appropriately. First and foremost is creating false alarms and disrupting legitimate traffic; especially important for small businesses with limited IT resources. Furthermore, traditional IDSs require human interaction in responding to alerts.

A network intrusion detection system (NIDS) monitors packets that pass through your network and compares them against known malicious patterns, known as signatures. Unfortunately, this method lacks specificity; more traffic the tool analyzes increases its chances of missing signs of intrusion. Host-based IDS such as SolarWinds Event Manager could be considered an example of such NIDS software; it manages log messages from Windows, Mac-OS X, and Linux computers while simultaneously analysing files on a host.

Trend Micro TippingPoint can offer sophisticated protection from even the latest attacks with its IDS solution, available as physical appliances, cloud servers or virtual IP services – it scans inbound, outbound and lateral traffic to identify emerging threats and eliminate them before they impact you.


An Intrusion Prevention System is intended to actively prevent attacks after they have been detected, taking various actions such as sending an alert or blocking connections based on what it has observed. Furthermore, these systems take advantage of machine learning technologies so as to become increasingly accurate over time with less false positives – both essential considerations for businesses ensuring uptime of critical infrastructure.

An IDS differs from an IPS in that an IDS only detects intrusions and notifies security teams of them, whereas an IPS can actually prevent intrusion by eliminating malicious code or stopping activity entirely; it does this by analyzing packets to flag any that appear suspicious or match known attacks from other servers.

IDSs can help detect malicious traffic by monitoring networks for any unusual patterns that indicate breach or malware activity. They can be deployed either at the host-based level or network-wide level and even used together with firewalls for greater effectiveness.

Experts often divide IDSs further into multiple categories – perimeter IDS, virtual machine-based IDS, stack-based IDS and anomaly based IDSs – however their fundamental purpose remains unchanged: monitoring network and device activity to detect breaches or intrusions.

Although IDSs offer many advantages, they also present several unique management challenges that some organizations may be unwilling or unable to overcome. False positives (where the system generates alerts when there is no problem) and keeping up with new attacks constantly can present difficulties when using an IDS; updating its rules on an ongoing basis requires constant maintenance for optimal functioning of an IDS system.

Another issue with IDSs is their tendency to block legitimate traffic without providing clear reasons, which can create unnecessary bottlenecks and interfere with essential business processes. Furthermore, they may interfere with existing protections like firewalls. Therefore, many businesses opt for both IDSs and IPSs; each provides different functions that help address different security needs.


An IDS works by monitoring network traffic to detect potential breaches. Using SPAN/TAP ports to analyze inline network packets and compare against its rules/patterns database. If it detects an anomaly it alerts system administrators so they can take appropriate actions.

IDS systems usually employ three primary detection variants for intrusion detection systems: signature-based, anomaly-based and reputation-based. A signature-based IDS monitors network traffic for specific byte sequences or known malicious instructions – similar to antivirus software – while anomaly-based systems monitor activity to identify deviations from normal network behavior but often take time and training before being successful at profiling what constitutes “normal.” Both approaches may generate false positives as well.

Hybrid systems combine the benefits of both types. By taking into account patterns and one-off events, hybrid IDSs can quickly spot new and ongoing attacks while being less likely to produce false positives than signature-based systems – though legitimate traffic may still be detected and cause complications.

Both IDS and IPS can detect multiple attack methods, yet their responses vary considerably: an IDS alerts system administrators while an IPS takes proactive measures to block attacks entering systems or networks.

IDSs and IPSs differ primarily in how they detect and respond to intrusions; an IDS only sends alerts when an intrusion is discovered and relies on IT staff to investigate it, while an IPS can actively prevent an intrusion by dropping malicious packets or blocking certain sources.

An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) offers many advantages for businesses. One such advantage is automatically blocking offending packets to prevent further damage; however, its effectiveness depends upon being configured and tuned appropriately with your business network and applications. Failing to do this correctly could lead to false-positive detections that compromise its efficacy and reduce overall effectiveness of solution.


Response time of an intrusion detection system (IDS) is of vital importance in keeping networks secure from threats such as malware and viruses, making a host-based IDS such a valuable tool in combatting these threats. A host-based IDS can detect any changes within its system which might point towards viruses or worms as well as detect suspicious activity such as sending sensitive data outside.

An IDS or an IPS may be more suitable, depending on an organization’s unique requirements and budget constraints, staffing levels and IT environment. Many times both should be deployed simultaneously – either as host-based and network-based IDS solutions or integrated security tools which offer both functions.

An IDS alerts you of suspicious activity; an IPS can take steps to defend against attacks. Depending on its settings and policies, an IPS may stop attacks by blocking access to malicious websites, blocking out unauthorized users from joining your network and even stopping all traffic – making it ideal for DDoS attacks or similar threats.

An IDS and an IPS differ in that an IDS only detects threats; an IPS actively works against them. IDSs rely on signature, pattern or known identity features while IIPSs utilize other mechanisms like heuristic analysis or behavior monitoring; both approaches aim at understanding normal network activity to detect deviations from their profile and react appropriately.

One of the main challenges associated with IDS/IPS software is false positives, which may result in restriction of legitimate traffic or even allow serious attacks through. A well-equipped IDS and IPS can reduce this issue, but it is still essential to understand your solution’s limits.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.