All businesses have a practical and ethical need to protect their systems from intrusion. Many businesses have a legal requirement to do so. This fact led to the development of intrusion protection systems (IPSs). Businesses have the option to implement these as in-house solutions or to use managed IPS. In most cases, managed IPS is the better option. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.
An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a network security tool that monitors and analyzes network or system activities for unauthorized behavior. It provides an additional layer of defense against threats that may bypass the firewall.
IPSs are now viewed as critical components of an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure since they make it easier to detect and respond to potential threats in real time.
The core features of an IPS will be largely the same regardless of which vendor you choose. IPS vendors compete on the details of how they are implemented. Here are the five core features you can expect to see in any IPS.
Continuous monitoring: An IPS operates continuously, scrutinizing network traffic and system activities to identify any patterns or anomalies that may indicate a security threat.
Threat detection: Using various detection methods, such as signature-based detection, anomaly-based detection, and policy-based detection, an IPS identifies potential security incidents and malicious activities.
Centralized management console: A unified console streamlines the management of IPS policies, configurations, and incident response, providing a holistic view of the organization’s security position.
Logging and reporting: IPS systems maintain detailed logs of security events, providing administrators with valuable information for analysis, forensic purposes, and compliance reporting.
Integration with other security tools: IPSs are often integrated with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and firewalls.
One of the major differentiators between intrusion prevention systems is the way in which they are deployed. Here are the five main deployment options.
Network-Based Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS): Monitors and analyzes network traffic at strategic points within the network, typically at the perimeter, to detect and prevent malicious activities.
Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS): Installed on individual devices or endpoints, such as servers or workstations, HIPS monitors activities specific to that host and can prevent local threats.
Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS): Specialized in monitoring and securing wireless networks, WIPS identifies and prevents unauthorized access and potential threats within Wi-Fi environments.
Cloud-Based Intrusion Prevention System: Operating in the cloud environment, this model provides security for cloud-hosted applications and services. It offers scalable and centralized protection against threats targeting cloud infrastructure and data.
Hybrid IPS Deployments: Combining elements of both on-premises and cloud-based solutions, hybrid IPS deployments provide a flexible approach to security. They offer the benefits of centralized cloud management along with the ability to protect local networks and devices effectively.
Here are the five main advantages of managed IPS as compared to traditional IPS.
Resource optimization: For many businesses, the main argument for using a managed IPS is the same as the main argument for using managed services in general. Delegating non-core activities to third parties makes it easier for businesses to focus on core activities.
Expertise of security professionals: An in-house IT security team in a regular business is unlikely ever to develop the same depth or breadth of knowledge as a managed IPS vendor. This is because they are unlikely to gain the same depth or breadth of experience. Using a managed IPS solution can, therefore, give better overall protection.
More effective use of data: Most companies have now realized the potential value of data-driven insights. Many, however, struggle with the challenge of unlocking the value that data can offer. Using a managed IPS can enable businesses to leverage the data they produce.
Scalability and flexibility: Managed IPS vendors are paid to produce outcomes. This means that scaling and updating a managed IPS service is often much easier than scaling and updating in-house solutions.
Predictable costs: When businesses use managed IPS solutions, they pay a guaranteed price for a guaranteed service. This makes it much easier to budget and, hence, manage cash flow.
The main challenge of managed IPS is the initial implementation. Firstly, the managed IPS system generally needs to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure and systems. Secondly, it needs to be configured to align with the client’s individual security policies.
Making this happen typically requires careful planning and meticulous execution. This in turn requires the business and the managed IPS service provider to collaborate effectively. In particular, they need to establish clear communication and escalation channels. These are a prerequisite for ensuring that any configuration issues are addressed promptly.
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