The Invisible Guardians: How IDS and IPS Work Together to Boost Network Security

    skycentral.co.uk | The Invisible Guardians: How IDS and IPS Work Together to Boost Network Security

    <span class="glossary-tooltip glossary-term-1837"><span class="glossary-link"><a href="https://skycentral.co.uk/glossary/the-invisible-guardians-how-ids-and-ips-work-together-to-boost-network-security/">The Invisible Guardians: How IDS and IPS Work Together to Boost Network Security</a></span><span class="hidden glossary-tooltip-content clearfix"><span class="glossary-tooltip-text"><br /> <br /> <br /> The Invisible Guardians: How IDS and IP...</span></span></span>


    In today’s interconnected world, network security is of paramount importance. With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, organizations must employ robust measures to protect their networks. Two crucial components in this defense arsenal are Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). This article delves into the invisible guardians that IDS and IPS provide, highlighting how they work together to strengthen network security and protect against potential breaches.

    Understanding IDS

    An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is a security tool designed to monitor and analyze network traffic for signs of malicious activity or policy violations. IDS act as virtual sentinels, constantly scanning network traffic to identify potential threats and policy violations.

    Types of IDS

    • Network-Based IDS (NIDS): These systems monitor network traffic, analyzing packets for any suspicious patterns or known attack signatures.
    • Host-Based IDS (HIDS): Installed on individual hosts or endpoints, HIDS monitor activity within the system, detecting any unauthorized changes or malicious behavior.
    • Wireless IDS (WIDS): Designed specifically for wireless networks, WIDS detect and alert administrators to any potential threats or vulnerabilities within the wireless network infrastructure.

    Understanding IPS

    Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) build upon the functionalities of IDS by actively blocking, identifying, and mitigating detected threats in real-time. Rather than simply alerting system administrators to potential intrusions, IPS take immediate action to prevent such incidents from occurring.

    Key Features of IPS

    • Packet Filtering: IPS examine packets travelling through a network and, based on predefined rules, determine whether to permit or block them.
    • Protocol Analysis: IPS monitor network protocols to detect any anomalies or suspicious behavior.
    • Signature-based Detection: IPS compare network traffic against known attack signatures or patterns to identify and block potential threats.
    • Anomaly-based Detection: IPS establish baselines of normal network behavior and detect any deviations that may indicate an ongoing attack.

    How IDS and IPS Work Together

    While IDS and IPS have distinctive roles, they are often deployed together to provide comprehensive network security.

    Flow of Events

    IDS typically precede IPS in the network’s defense architecture. IDS examine network traffic, identify suspicious patterns or policy violations, and generate alerts. These alerts are then forwarded to the IPS, which actively prevent any malicious activity by blocking traffic based on predefined rulesets.

    Alert Correlation

    IDS generate a substantial number of alerts, including false positives. To address this, IPS receive the alerts from IDS and further analyze the traffic to determine the validity and severity of each alert. By correlating alerts, IPS can discern legitimate threats from false alarms, thereby optimizing network security resources.


    Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) work in tandem to safeguard network environments. By continuously monitoring network traffic, IDS promptly identify potential threats and policy violations. IPS, on the other hand, actively intervene to prevent security breaches by blocking malicious traffic in real-time. The collaboration between IDS and IPS is crucial in achieving comprehensive network security, ensuring that organizations can protect their systems from constantly evolving cyber threats.