Network security, for any organisation, is of prime importance. This does not mean protecting the network with the use of firewalls, but it goes deeper than that to pick up potential threat factors without replacing the traditional or primary security efforts like the encryptions or authentication methods.
To understand this better, it is important to first discuss what intrusion in IT means. Intrusion in IT, to simply put it, it is when a hacker wants to make way in your network with malicious intent. This can be detected by a Network Intrusion Detection System. Why are we using the term network here? Because an intrusion detection system keeps a check on packets of a network wire, with the main objective of keeping away the hacker from entering or breaking into your system, it does so by analysing the movement on your network, to evaluate any anomaly or signs of threat.
Let us understand the main Objective and Functions of an Intrusion Detection System
- To Detect Attacks on the network – by providing real-time monitoring with an intrusion detection system can detect any potential threats or attacks as and when they occur.
- Provide Information on the attack – the intrusion detection system is equipped to provide information on an attack if it detects one.
- Provide Resolution – in an event, an attack was detected, it not only provides information of the attack but goes forward and applies corrective actions to manage the threat or an attack.
- Historical Data – the system stores the information on events locally and also when a case of attack is registered.
A network detection system is most strategically placed on points in a network so that it can monitor the traffic travelling to or from different devices on that network. There are mainly two types of network Intrusion detection systems, one should understand the applicability of this to decide on which one to apply.
Signature-based intrusion detection system, which is programmed towards identifying a specific type of vulnerability. Hence this system will not report every anomaly but only specific ones, thus reducing the number of False Positives.
Anomaly-based intrusion detection system searches every attack that is not meeting with the norms, hence in this system, the rate of false positives is very high.
Many companies set a large network identification system as a backbone network, which monitors blanket traffic on the network, others set up small systems to monitor traffic for a particular server, switch, gateway or router.
Besides monitoring traffic, an intrusion detection system can also scan system files looking for unauthorised activity and maintain data and file integrity.
The intrusion detection system can also work for a proactive role instead of a reactive role. It is proactive as it’s possible uses involve scanning firewalls for potential exploitation and scanning live traffic to see what is actually emerging.
A point to note is that the intrusion detection system is not a replacement for firewalls or any primary security systems, which are put in place to mitigate risks. This system is a backup network integrity device. And either one of the systems cannot replace another.
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