What is Intrusion Detection?

man pointing to an intrusion detection graphic

For those unfamiliar with the term, an intrusion detection system (IDS) is a security tool that constantly monitors a network or system for any malicious activity or reported violations. Should the system locate any anomalies, it will send a report back to an administrator for review. As you can imagine, an intrusion detection system can help transform your network security for the better and avoid new attacks.

Why is an intrusion detection system important?

As outlined above, an intrusion detection system takes any potential malicious activity it locates on a network or system and sends it to a human administrator for review. This is where the primary benefit of the system comes into play. By sending this report to an administrator, the cyber threat can be neutralized before any major network attacks or dangerous security incidents.

Beyond detection methods, having a historical record of any potential malicious activity outlined by the IDS can allow you to further strengthen your cybersecurity. Using these reports, you can strengthen the firewalls and digital security protections that you have in place for your business.

What are the two primary types of intrusion detection?

If you are considering using an intrusion detection system for your business, there are two main options you will likely come across: network-based intrusion detection and host-based intrusion detection systems.

A network-based intrusion detection system (NIDS) monitors all the data that passes through your network. To do this, they are placed at crucial points in your network, such as the entry and exit points that your data uses to travel from your network to the outside world. Once in place, they can then examine your network traffic for suspicious activity.

On the other hand, a host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS) monitors traffic from a specific device instead of the entire network. It monitors important operating system files and traffic that originates or travels into that particular host. An HIDS has the ability to look more closely at internal traffic to identify malicious data packets that originate from inside the host.

There is no wrong type of network intrusion detection system. In fact, it’s beneficial to use both NIDS and HIDS because they complement each other. A host-based intrusion detection system can be used as a second line of defense against activity that NIDS fail to detect. Using both types of systems together will give you deeper security visibility and coverage.

How should I use data gained from an intrusion detection system?

Having the information from an IDS presented in front of you is one thing but knowing how to use the data is entirely different. First and foremost, the potential threats raised in the IDS report should be addressed and neutralized right away. Then you can take steps towards improving your overall network security by reviewing what vulnerabilities allowed those threats to slip through the cracks. Intrusion detection systems are beneficial not only because they allow you to stop current attacks immediately at detection but also because they help you prevent future ones.

Protect your vulnerable network today

Protecting your data is more important than ever as cyber-attacks become increasingly more sophisticated. Adding an intrusion detection system to your organization is an excellent way to protect your organization. If your business in Cleveland, Akron, or Columbus is ready to make this important change in your security, get in touch with us here at Warwick Communications. We’re happy to help with your specific needs.