The more the online world matures, the more people have a better understanding of how empowerment works. While this can result in several positive developments and breakthroughs, there is also a criminal side to the internet. A side that constantly makes threats and disruptions for those working to carry out their legitimate day-to-day operations.
Fortunately, there are tools that businesses can use to protect themselves. Things like anti-malware, firewalls, virus protection software, and updating programs to patch vulnerabilities. Another avenue to consider is intrusion prevention systems.
What Is An Intrusion Prevention System?
An intrusion prevention system is a security system that works to monitor network traffic and prevents any malicious attacks from getting through. These systems essentially block access points to malicious attacks and help to reconfigure the firewall to prevent future intrusions.
The system also creates reports about malicious incidents and provides administrators with a better understanding of the traffic that is coming into their network. This is key in developing policies and best practices moving forward to prevent risks of future problems.
Where Should This System Be Implemented?
It’s generally accepted that these systems be implemented at the edge of a network, ideally behind the firewall and in front of the server(s).
This allows the firewall to perform its duties well and block or filter out most of the malicious traffic. Essentially a firewall’s job is to look at IP addresses and port numbers — which is surface level data. An intrusion prevention system will look at patterns or signatures that could denote a potential attack.
This works well because the firewall will essentially filter out incoming data and this will leave less traffic for the intrusion prevention system. This is as it should be as the intrusion prevention system shouldn’t handle all the overall traffic since they are meant to analyze traffic. With less traffic to analyze behind a firewall, it’ll reduce the chances of an overall traffic slowdown.
What Does This System Block?
An intrusion prevention system is designed to identify and block malicious threats. Here are some different types of attacks:
- Denial of Service
- Distributed Denial of Service
- And other types of network exploitations
This system inspects inbound packets in real-time as well so it makes sense for it to be behind firewalls. Once a malicious packet is identified, the intrusion prevention system can terminate the transmission control protocol session, reconfigure the firewall and remove the malicious content.
Programming An Intrusion Prevention System
The benefit of these systems is that they can be programmed to specifically understand the company’s network and the kind of traffic the company is likely to get. It’s important to run the intrusion prevention system in its default mode to start.
What this will do is allow business owners to understand how it reacts to the traffic that is already coming in and can provide companies with a guideline to work from. This is a better route as programmers can then adjust the system to block traffic according to the risk it poses.
Tuning And Optimizing An Intrusion Prevention System
In all likelihood, companies do not want intrusion prevention systems to be the sole monitor of all traffic. This will result in too much traffic getting blocked, slow systems, and piles of reports that require immediate action.
Because traffic in networks change, it’s ideal to use this system behind a firewall as it can still work to detect and block any malicious traffic while still allowing the traffic to go through the firewall and get filtered.
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