Prevention and Detection: Does Your Business Need IPS, IDS or Both?

Thursday, January 28, 2016 by under Safety

Protect your business from harmful and suspicious network activity via intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

So how do you know which system(s) are the best fit for your business? Read on for an evaluation of the pros and cons of each.

Pros and Cons of IDS

An IDS notifies you of malicious or suspicious network or device activity, and can help uncover problems, such as configuration errors, infections, viruses and unauthorized access. Main benefits include:

  • Insight into network paths and activity.
  • Instant notifications if harmful activity is detected.
  • Virus tracking (if detected) to evaluate how it is spreading through systems.

Although an IDS increases visibility, it has drawbacks. Since it simply notifies you of activity, organizations must be proactive in ridding systems of threats and damages. This requires time, effort and knowledge from your staff.

Pros and Cons of IPS

An IPS increases network control and system activity with minimal effort on your part. It is designed to catch and block malicious activity to prevent damage from occurring.

IPS benefits include:

  • Automatically notifies administrators of suspicious activity.
  • Blocks detected malicious activity from accessing your networks.
  • Resets connections if network errors are detected.
  • Uncovers the presence of unfamiliar networks and hosts.
  • Reduces the maintenance burden on IT staff. 
  • Sets rules to allow or deny specific traffic from entering your network.
  • Provides insight into real-time data streams.

An IPS requires high network and bandwidth performance to detect and block attacks. If your business does not have enough network or bandwidth capacity, an IPS could potentially slow down systems and equipment.

Evaluate Security Needs

Work with your security provider to determine network visibility and control requirements. When evaluating IPS and IDS systems, ask yourself:

  • Am I looking to enhance visibility, control or both?
  • How much am I looking to spend on a system(s)?
  • How many systems/devices will I need to monitor?
  • How experienced is my staff in sifting through and responding to threats?
  • What resources are required to implement an IDS, IPS or both?
  • Will systems be compatible with current networks and equipment?
  • How much bandwidth will I need to ensure system uptime and functionality?

How would your business benefit from an IPS and/or IDS? Share with us in the comments below.

Image Source: geralt


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