What is an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

See what is the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) or in Greek Invasion Prevention System and what are the differences with IDS.

An are you IT? or if you want to enter this business space, there will be a time when you will be asked to manage a local network, large or small. Your first thought will be how to protect it and then how to improve it. Of course there are many protection solutions and tricks, even theories about it how it should be a network protection.

Due to the multitude of types of attacks and the chaotic development of the internet, all professionals in the field of computers rely on ready-made automation and third party products to protect both the networks that have the responsibility and themselves. One such system is the Invasion Prevention System.

What is an intrusion prevention system?

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a form of network security that works to detect and prevent known threats. Intrusion prevention systems constantly monitor your network for potentially malicious events and capture information about them.

IPS reports these incidents to system administrators and at the same time takes precautionary measures, such as closing access points and setting up a firewall to prevent future attacks. IPS solutions can also be used to address issues with corporate security policies, preventing employees and network visitors from violating the rules contained in these policies.

With so many access points in a typical business network, it is important to have a way to monitor for signs of potential breaches, events and impending threats. Today's network threats are becoming increasingly complex and can penetrate even the most powerful security solutions.

After all, it is impossible to be in front of a screen 24 hours / 7 days and watch the traffic of your network, looking for any violations. If you were imagining something like this, then you are probably watching a lot of American spy movies.

IPS and IDS - What is the difference?

When looking for IPS solutions, you may also come across Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). Before we look at how intrusion prevention systems work, let's take a look at the difference between IPS and IDS.

The main difference between IPS and IDS is the action they take when a potential event is detected.

Intrusion prevention (IPS) systems control access to a computer network and protect it from abuse and attack. These systems are designed to monitor intrusion data and take the necessary steps to prevent an attack from developing.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are not designed to block attacks and will simply monitor the network and send alerts to system administrators if a potential threat is detected.

How do intrusion prevention systems work?

Intrusion prevention systems work by scanning all network traffic. There are several threats designed to prevent an IPS, such as:

  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attack
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack
  • Various types of farms
  • Worms
  • Viruses

IPS checks packets in real time, in-depth inspecting any packets traveling through the network. If malicious or suspicious packets are detected, IPS will perform one of the following actions:

  • Terminate the utilized TCP session and block the source IP address or user account from accessing any application or other network resources.
  • Reprogramming or remodeling the firewall to prevent a similar attack in the future.
  • Remove or replace any malicious content that remains on the network after an attack. This is done by repackaging regular files, removing header information, and removing any infected attachments from file or email servers.
Types of prevention

An intrusion prevention system is usually configured to use many different approaches to protect the network from unauthorized access. These include:

  • Signature-Based The signature-based approach uses predefined signatures for known network threats. When an attack is initiated that matches one of these signatures or patterns, the system takes the necessary action.
  • Anomaly-Based - The anomaly-based approach monitors any unusual or unexpected network behavior. If an abnormality is detected, the system immediately blocks access to the destination host.
  • Policy-Based - This approach requires managers to formulate security policies in accordance with organizational security policies and network infrastructure. When an activity that violates a security policy occurs, an alert is triggered and sent to the system administrators.
IPS - Preventive protection for any network

IPS solutions offer preventative prevention against some of the most notorious network feats today. When properly developed, an IPS prevents serious damage from malicious or unwanted packets and violent attacks.

What is on the market

Professionals who offer such services have a lot of competition with each other. It's just like the companies that offer antivirus programs for simple home computers, only here things are much more serious.

Such a program is not so much based on its initial installation, but more on support and renewal. They are expensive programs that need to be constantly updated through a database of new attacks appearing in the world.

Indicatively, we present you with a list of 8 top programs as well as a table with their features and prices.

  1. McAfee NSP
  2. Trend Micro TippingPoint
  3. Darktrace Enterprise Immune System
  4. Cisco Firepower NGIPS
  5. AT&T Cybersecurity
  6. Palo Alto Networks Threat Prevention
  7. NSFocus NGIPS
  8. Blumira Automated Detection & Response

Comparative chart:

Specifications McAfee NSP Trend Micro TippingPoint Darktrace Enterprise Immune System Cisco Firepower NGIPS AT&T USM Palo Alto Networks Threat Prevention Blumira Automated Detection & Response NSFocus NGIPS
Signature based Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Anomaly based Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Cloud compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price From $ 10.995 From $ 6.000 Prices on request. approximately between $ 10.000 and $ 20.000 The Firepower 4120 sells for about $ 100.000 From $ 5.595 Upon request From $ 1.200 / month Upon request


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Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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