What Is an Intrusion Detection System (IDS)?

April 23, 2020 4:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

An intrusion detection system (IDS) monitors network traffic for threats and suspicious activities. It seeks to find hackers and malware before they ruin your network. The sad reality is that not everyone who accesses your online systems will be authorized to do so. That’s why it’s important to know what an intrusion detection system is and how it will help your Phoenix business. Here are some common questions regarding IDS.

What parts are in an IDS packet?

There are three main functions to an IDS: monitoring systems, researching system logs and identifying attack protocol. This is part of a packet sniffer that discovers and tracks anomalies that could be a threat to your servers.

Monitoring systems assess and evaluate firewalls, key management servers and files and routers. They then determine whether security is sufficient and check to see if any of these systems are compromised. Data collected during monitoring helps the rest of the IDS tackle any cyberattacks, or at least alert authorized personnel that there is an inconsistency.

Researching system logs helps discover data that could show weaknesses. It uses this information to improve the IDS to better protect your network.

Identifying attack protocol determines the types of cyberattacks that could invade your system. This helps better protect signature databases and finds better ways to keep your network safe.

What types of IDS are available?

There are two types of IDS: network-based intrusion detection systems (NIDS) and host intrusion detection systems (HIDS). The name indicates where the IDS is based (network or host).

NIDS analyzes network traffic through a series of network sensors. These sensors are placed near firewalls and help find Denial of Service (DoS) and other similar attacks.

HIDS is designed to analyze system configuration and application activity for devices across an enterprise network. Sensors can be installed on any device, including desktop PCs or servers. The sensors detect unexpected changes to a network, including unauthorized deletion or overwriting of files. When something is off, the HIDS notifies system administrators.

What is the difference between NIDS and HIDS?

NIDS works in real time to detect hacks as they occur, while HIDS looks at historical data to see if skilled hackers used methods that are difficult to track in real time. Depending on your security concerns, it is often a good idea to install both NIDS and HIDS on your system. Working together, they will catch most cyberattacks.

My company maintains a SaaS backup. Do I still need an IDS?

Even if you use cloud servers or back up on a SaaS, you still need your own IDS. While your SaaS vendor may have its own security precautions, it is a good idea to invest in your own as well. There is always a risk of an inside job if you outsource this service, and taking your own precautions safeguards critical data better.

If you wish to know more about what an intrusion detection system is, Southwest System Monitoring, Inc. is here to help. Located in Phoenix, AZ, we have specialized in advanced integrated security systems since 1989. Contact us today to learn more and make your security systems better.

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