What role does IPS play in threat prevention?

What role does IPS play in threat prevention?

The goal of any cybersecurity strategy is to stop cyber threats before they have a material impact. This has resulted in many organizations seeking to be more proactive in their response to potential threats by employing solutions to detect and prevent specific types of cyberattacks by monitoring early indicators of attacks found within network traffic.

Almost all types of cyberattacks (with the exception of non-malware phishing attacks that rely solely on social engineering) include some use of network communications as part of the attack to retrieve commands, perform actions, authenticate or interact with external hosts. For that reason, the idea of visualizing and analyzing network traffic for leading indicators of threat activity has prompted an evolution of network monitoring that will be used specifically to detect threatening network activity. And by adding the ability to respond to threats detected in network traffic, the result is intrusion prevention systems.

What is an intrusion prevention system?

An intrusion prevention system (commonly referred to as an IPS) is a form of network security that continuously monitors network traffic entering and leaving the organization’s network. It observes potentially suspicious and/or malicious traffic, alerts security and IT personnel, and then takes action to stop the suspicious traffic.

IPS solutions are also used to identify and remediate internal violations of corporate security policy by employees and network guests. But, considering the frequency and intensity of external cyber-attacks today, the most frequent use of IPS is to protect against external attacks.

Example of the redborder platform managing the organization’s IPS in a simple way.

Some of the most common attacks used to stop IPS security solutions include brute force attacks, denial of service attacks and attacks that seek to exploit known vulnerabilities in internal systems.

The IPS performs deep packet inspection in real time, examining every packet traversing the network. Its detection methods can be signature-based (where network packets match a known malicious pattern) or anomaly-based (where an instance of traffic is unusual or has never been seen, such as communications to an IP address in a remote part of the world from an internal endpoint).

If malicious or suspicious traffic is detected, the IPS can use any of the following actions:

  • Network sessions can be terminated, blocking the malicious source IP address and user accounts from continuing to communicate with a given internal application, resource or network host, preventing a detected attack from continuing.
  • Firewall policies and/or configurations can be updated to prevent this type of attack from happening in the future, as well as to prevent the offending source IP address from accessing internal hosts.
  • Malicious content that continues to reside within the corporate network, such as infected email attachments, can also be removed or replaced with IPS solutions.

Why is it so important for the company to have this tool?

This redborder tool allows companies to confront, either passively (automated) or actively, threats that may affect the proper functioning of systems, such as communications networks, devices or IoT sensors, as they help detect and neutralize intrusions, threats or suspicious behavior that put the company’s cybersecurity at risk. In other words, they are a natural step in the evolution of cybersecurity.

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