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Unlocking Cybersecurity: A Comprehensive Guide to Managed IDS

Unlocking Cybersecurity: A Comprehensive Guide to Managed IDS

Cybersecurity is now a top priority for businesses of all sizes. One of the most fundamental parts of cybersecurity is protecting against intrusion. This has led to the development of sophisticated intrusion detection systems (IDS). An IDS can be run in-house or by a third-party service (managed IDS). For many businesses, managed IDS is the much better option. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Understanding IDS

Before you can choose between in-house and managed IDS, you need to decide what type of IDS you want. Here is an overview of the main types of IDS currently available.

Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS): This type of managed IDS is designed to monitor the entire network by strategically placing sensors at critical points. It analyzes inbound and outbound traffic, looking for patterns or anomalies that could indicate a security threat.

Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS): Unlike NIDS, HIDS is deployed on individual devices within the network. It focuses on monitoring and analyzing activity specific to the host system, making it adept at detecting insider threats or attacks targeting a particular device. HIDS provides a more granular and targeted approach to intrusion detection, offering enhanced security for individual endpoints.

Cloud-Based Intrusion Detection System: These systems leverage cloud infrastructure for monitoring network activity. The cloud-based approach ensures scalability, allowing organizations to adapt their security measures to dynamic or distributed infrastructures. It also provides the advantage of accessibility, enabling real-time monitoring from anywhere.

Hybrid Intrusion Detection System: Combining the strengths of signature-based and anomaly-based detection methods, hybrid IDS offers a comprehensive approach to threat identification. By analyzing both known attack patterns and deviations from normal behavior, hybrid IDS systems reduce false positives and enhance the overall accuracy of intrusion detection.

Application Protocol-Based Intrusion Detection System (APIDS): Focused on securing software applications, APIDS is often associated with host-based intrusion detection systems. It monitors the communication between applications and servers, especially crucial for protecting against application-layer vulnerabilities. APIDS is typically deployed on groups of servers to ensure the security of specific application-layer protocols, providing targeted defense against application-level attacks.

How to choose the right IDS for your business

Here are the five key points you should consider when choosing the right IDS for your business.

What is your budget?

When setting your budget, consider both the upfront and ongoing costs of the tool. You need to be clear on the total cost of ownership as well as the purchase price.

What is your network architecture?

By analyzing your network architecture thoroughly, you will be able to determine where intrusion detection is most crucial. This will help you to determine which form(s) of protection you need.

It’s also advisable to analyze your current Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems. Generally, you will want your IDS to integrate with them. At the very least, you will want your IDS to be compliant with them.

What are your main security concerns?

Firstly, you need to identify the specific threats your business is most concerned about at the present. Secondly, you need to identify the security trends that are of most concern to you.

Once you have done this, you will also need to check your compliance requirements (and preferences). Again, it’s advisable to think about what the future might bring as well as your needs in the present.

What are your business goals?

If your IDS can develop alongside your businesses, there will be less chance that you will be forced to undergo the disruption of changing it in the future.

What do you want from the vendor?

Do you just need the vendor to commit to bug fixes or do you want regular updates and support? Do you want the vendor to act as a managed IDS provider?

The benefits of managed IDS

Once you have decided what kind of IDS you want, you will need to decide between in-house IDS and managed IDS. Here are the three main benefits of using managed IDS.

Focus on core activities: For many businesses, the main benefit of managed IDS is the same main benefit as managed services in general. It allows them to focus on their core business.

Greater depth and breadth of knowledge: A managed IDS service provider will have a team of staff that focuses on security. This team will also, usually, work with multiple clients. As a result, a managed IDS service provider can generally offer both more depth and more breadth of knowledge than an in-house team.

Easier to access data insights: Part of the value of an intrusion detection system is the data it collects. This data only has value, however, if it can be suitably analyzed. A managed IDS service provider will typically be able to create insightful reports using the data from the IDS.

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