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Difference between IDS and IPS

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Network administrators must use technologies to safeguard their networks and stop hostile actors from getting access. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are the most commonly employed tools. It is crucial to understand how they differ from one another, which ones work best for particular kinds of companies, and how to make the most of each one’s potential.

We will discuss the differences between the two systems in this article to assist users in selecting the one that will work best for the company.

What is an IDS?

An IDS should be regarded as a diagnostic solution because it tracks and finds behavior throughout a network. If the system discovers an issue, it will notify the security team so they may look into it.

 Types of IDS


  • Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) are installed at a predetermined location within the network to monitor all network traffic coming from all connected devices. It observes all subnet traffic passing through and compares that traffic to a database of known attacks. The alert can be delivered to the administrator as soon as an attack is detected or unusual behavior is noticed. Installing a NIDS on the subnet where firewalls are to check for attempts to breach the firewall is an example of a NIDS in action.

  • Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

Host Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS) are network applications that run on separate hosts or gadgets. Only the incoming and outgoing packets from the device are monitored by a HIDS, which notifies the administrator of any unusual or malicious behavior. It compares the current snapshot of the system files with the previous snapshot. The administrator is given an alert to determine if the analytical system files were altered or deleted. Mission-critical equipment, which is not anticipated to modify its layout, is an example of HIDS utilization.

  • Protocol-based Intrusion Detection System (PIDS)

A Protocol-based Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) is made up of a system or agent that continually sits at the front end of a server, controlling and interpreting the protocol between a user or device and the server. By continuously monitoring the HTTPS protocol stream and accepting the associated HTTP protocol, it tries to secure the web server. Since HTTPS is not encrypted and does not immediately enter the web presentation layer, the system would need to be located within this interface to use HTTPS.

  • Application Protocol-based Intrusion Detection System (APIDS)

A system or agent called Application Protocol-based Intrusion Detection System (APIDS) typically resides within a server cluster. By observing and analyzing communication on application-specific protocols, it detects intrusions. For example, this would keep track of the SQL protocol that the middleware explicitly uses when communicating with the web server’s database.

  • Hybrid Intrusion Detection System

A hybrid intrusion detection system is created by combining two or more intrusion detection system methodologies. Host agent or system data is merged with network data in the hybrid intrusion detection system to create a comprehensive picture of the network system. Hybrid intrusion detection systems are more effective than other intrusion detection systems. Hybrid IDS is demonstrated by Prelude.

Detection Method of IDS


  • Signature-based Method

The number of bytes, number of ones, or zeros in the network traffic are only a few examples of the specific patterns that signature-based IDS use to identify attacks. Additionally, it identifies based on the malware’s already-known harmful instruction sequence. Signatures are the patterns that the IDS has identified. Signature-based IDS can easily detect the attacks whose pattern (signature) already exists in the system. Still, it is quite challenging to detect new malware attacks as their pattern (signature) is still being determined.

  • Anomaly-based Method

As new malware is generated quickly, anomaly-based IDS was launched to identify unknown malware threats. In anomaly-based IDS, machine learning is used to build a reliable activity model compared to anything arriving and labeled suspicious if it is not found in the model. Machine learning-based methods have a superior generic property than signature-based IDS because these models can be trained using different applications and hardware configurations.


What is an IPS?

In terms of detection, an IPS functions similarly to an IDS system but also has reaction capabilities. When a potential attack, malicious activity, or an unauthorized user is discovered, an IPS solution has more autonomy and takes action.

An IPS performs different tasks depending on the solution, but generally, having one in place helps automate processes and contain threats without an administrator.

Types of IPS


  • Network-based Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS)

A NIPS monitors and guards against abnormal or suspicious behavior throughout the network. This system has a broad scope and may be used with other monitoring tools to give a complete picture of a network within an enterprise.

  • Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS)

WIPS are also widespread and frequently keep an eye on any corporation’s networks. Although localized to wireless networks for a more targeted detection and reaction, this type is comparable to a NIPS.

  • Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS)

HIPS are frequently installed on important hosts or devices that a company needs to safeguard. The system will then monitor all data traveling to and from the host to look for suspicious activity.

  • Network Behavioural Analysis (NBA)

An NBA solution is essential for identifying incidents like DDoS attacks, behaviors against a policy, and other forms of malware because, in contrast to NIPS, it will seek unusual behavior inside patterns of a network itself.

IDS vs. IPS: Similarities and Differences

IDS and IPS are very similar to one another, especially in terms of how they detect threats. However, an organization will choose one over the other based on its differences.


IDS and IPS Similarities


  • Monitoring

The fundamental distinction between the two systems is how specifically or broadly, their capacities for network, traffic, and activity across servers and devices may be employed.

  • Alerting

Only an IPS will take the necessary action after identifying a potential threat. However, both solutions will notify you of the finding and the subsequent action.

  • Logging

Both systems will track what is tracked and what actions are performed, allowing you to evaluate performance appropriately.

  • Learning

An IPS or IDS system will probably learn to recognize suspicious actions and reduce false positives depending on the detection mechanism it employs.

 Differences between IDS and IPS Systems

  • Both the IDS and IPS examine network packets and match them to known threat contents. IDS are monitoring and detection technologies; they do not act independently.

  • IPS is a system of control that approves or rejects a registered packet. IDS calls for a person or device to review and choose the following steps, which may be based on how much network traffic is generated daily.

  • On the other hand, the IPS seeks to gather and drop risky packets before they reach their target. It is more proactive than IDS, which only requires routine database updates with the new threat information.

  • IDS and IPS should be installed after the firewall in a network, but IDS should go first.

  • IDS’s inline mode for configuration is often on layer 2. In contrast, the configuration mode for IPS is either an end host or an inline mode.


IDS is a monitoring and detecting technology that does not operate on its own. The IPS control system accepts or rejects a packet according to the ruleset.
IDS needs results to be reviewed by a human or another system. The database for IPS must be updated frequently with new threat data. 3
After the firewall, IDS should be deployed. It ought to be put in a network after the firewall device.
IDS offers decoupling detection and reaction functionalities. IPS offers assistance with detection and response.
IDS’s inline mode for configuration is often on layer 2. An end host or an inline mode are both setup modes in IPS.


What Are Security Issues Solved by Each System?

One of the most crucial considerations for businesses is network security. Network security is crucial when a company safeguards sensitive client data like names, addresses, and credit card numbers. Another way IDS and IPS systems assist businesses and individuals in safeguarding their security are by helping them stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

These systems identify and stop network intrusions by hackers.

It is crucial for system administrators and network managers to practice early detection and prevention. When defending your network, it is crucial to stay one step ahead of hackers. It is simpler to prevent access to your network than to repair any damage that has already been done.


IDS and IPS Boost your Cybersecurity Strategy

Your cybersecurity strategy is strengthened by IDS and IPS solutions.

  • Automation – Automation is a major help in network security. The majority of the time, IDS and IPS systems operate automatically, scanning, logging, and stopping harmful attacks.

  • Security policy enforcement by hardcoding – Systems like IDS and IPS can be configured to enforce security rules at the network level. You can restrict any other types of traffic even if your firm only uses one authorized VPN.

  • Security Compliance – For network administrators and security experts, compliance is crucial. You will require evidence that security protocol was followed in the event of a security issue. Technologies like IDS and IPS can provide the data required for any possible security investigations.


When choosing a security solution for your home or corporate infrastructure, remember that internet security attacks are getting more stealthy and harmful. You may level the playing field against threat actors and their attack vectors with a layered security system that combines computational and signature technology with other tools. The integrated functionality of intrusion prevention programs, whether network-based or host-based, is one of these crucial tools and plays a crucial role in securing corporate network infrastructure and personal computers.

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