To keep your business from falling victim to the rising tide of cybercrime, it needs many layers of protection in place. Conventional perimeter security is no longer a feasible option, now that most businesses store their data in the cloud, often across dozens of different apps hosted in different data centers. That’s why you need an all-encompassing solution, including intrusion detection and prevention and a sophisticated security operations center.
What is an intrusion detection system?
An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a security tool that monitors the flow of traffic between your network and the public internet. It analyses packets of data to proactively hunt for known malware signatures and, more importantly, unknown threats by looking for suspicious or unusual activities.
IDSs broadly fall into two categories: those that are locally installed on the client computer, and those installed as a barrier between a network and the public internet.
Naturally, the latter provides far more comprehensive coverage, especially if it’s a cloud-hosted system. Cloud-based systems tend to be the most popular, since most companies now rely on cloud-hosted apps and storage services, all of which need protecting too.
- Proactive defense for your network
- Multiple threat detection measures
- Full alignment with company policy
- Maintain an audit trail of every risk
A network-based IDS is a proactive security measure designed to help stop malware and other threats from reaching your network in the first place. This differs from an intrusion prevention system (IPS), in that it only detects suspicious activity rather than prevents them outright. But the benefits of IDS are clear – there’s a reduced chance of false positives stunting the efficiency and integrity of your network, and security operations personnel have a chance to review potential issues before they can become a problem.
An IDS is a multilayered security solution in itself, going far beyond the limited and primarily reactive capabilities of antivirus software. This makes an IDS far more powerful in detecting the many lesser-known threats today’s businesses face. The most basic level of protection is the conventional signature-detection approach, which compares incoming packets of data against a database of known threats, much like how antivirus software matches things like downloads against a database of known malware. However, an IDS goes much further by analyzing the actual behavior of traffic to detect unusual patterns and issue alerts accordingly.
The best IDSs are highly customizable, allowing you to align them to your company’s unique needs and priorities. You can configure them for the best compromise between performance and risk. For example, you might set a rate-limiting value to protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by having the IDS throttle unusually high network traffic coming in from an unknown or suspicious source. There are numerous other ways you can customize your IDS as well, such as by setting monitoring thresholds for different types of traffic like email and web downloads. These controls let you align protection to both your internal policies and those mandated by industry regulators.
Another essential benefit of a cloud-hosted IDS is that it gives you complete visibility into your network traffic by analyzing every packet of data entering your network in real time. Combined with the ability to send automatic alerts, having an IDS in place ensures you’re always kept informed about any possible threats to your data security. Maintaining complete audit trails, which are updated in real time around the clock, is also enormously beneficial to cybersecurity personnel, since it lets them learn more about specific attack vectors and how they intend to exploit your business.
Combined with the power of a fully outsourced security operations center (SOC), the benefits of having a cloud-hosted IDS give you access to the same level of security that was previously only available to the biggest and best-funded companies.
outsourceIT provides managed intrusion detection from our cutting-edge security operations center to ensure your business stays protected around the clock. Get in touchto learn more.