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Top 8 Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software (IDPS) Tools

DarktraceVectra AIKerio ControlCheck Point IPSCisco NGIPSCisco IOS SecurityFortinet FortiGate IPSMcAfee Network Security Platform
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    The most valuable feature is that it gives us visibility of rogue traffic that is on the network.The platform has many modules, and each module examines a different situation in the behavior.
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    It keeps up with the network traffic, which is a good thing. It provides more context to plain alerts compared to using an older system. So, it helps an analyst reduce the information overload.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about Darktrace, Vectra AI, GFI and others in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software (IDPS). Updated: January 2022.
    563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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    I have found the most valuable features of Kerio Control to be the IPS and firewall.I like intrusion detection and prevention and bandwidth management. The routing part is also awesome. It is a good firewall. We never had a major breach from outside. We've never been impacted by ransomware, and our systems have never been infiltrated.
  5. I can generate reports for management automatically based on the threats of the last day/week/whatever is needed. Check Point Intrusion Prevention System has great profiles, and we can continuously create, modify, activate, deactivate or configure any specific setting to allow the profile to focus on just one thing or for certain attacks.
  6. You can do zero-day prevention and detection. It's quite useful.I like Firepower's automation, and the security intelligence is a powerful feature.
  7. Cisco Technical Assistance Center works on a follow-the-sun concept and gives real 24x7 customer support, which is a great advantage when you have a service contract with them.
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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software (IDPS) solutions are best for your needs.
    563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  9. The Fortinet FortiGate IPS has a good interface and integration.Before using this solution, we had so many problems accessing our resources because we don't have a lot of internet bandwidth. And by using application control and traffic shaping, we were able to manage user to quickly access services that are important. This tool has aided to the simplicity of our day-to-day management.
  10. There's a good dashboard you can drill down into. It helps you easily locate intrusions and the source of attacks.The initial setup is straightforward.
How does an IDS work?

The goal of an intrusion detection system is to detect an attack as it occurs. The system starts by analyzing inbound and outbound network traffic for signs of known attackers.

Some activities an IDS performs include:

  • Comparing system files against malware signatures.
  • Monitoring system configurations to detect changes or misconfigurations that attackers can exploit.
  • Scanning the network to detect known attack patterns.
  • Checking user activity to detect anomalies and malicious intent.

When the system detects an anomaly, such as a virus, a configuration error, or a security policy violation, it sends an alert to IT security. The IDS can stop an ongoing attack by kicking the intruder off the network.

The downside of intrusion detection systems is that they only work with known attack signatures. Thus, they cannot detect zero-day threats and incoming attacks.

Classification of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

There are various types of intrusion detection system types that differ according to what part of the network they monitor or whether they are software or hardware devices.

The most common types include:

  • Network-based Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

A NIDS is a software solution that operates at the network level, monitoring inbound and outbound traffic from all devices on the network. The system analyzes the traffic, looking for signs and patterns of malicious activity. If it finds an anomaly, it sends an alert.

  • Host-based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

A HIDS monitors the system data of an individual host instead of the entire network. The system looks for anomalies and malicious activity in the operating system files and software. When it finds an anomaly, it sends an alert and can take a snapshot to check if there is a suspicious change in activity.

  • Application-Protocol Intrusion Detection System (APIDS)

An APIDS is a type of HIDS that monitors and analyzes a specific application protocol. The system monitors the application protocol’s dynamic behavior and state, typically monitoring the interactions between two connected devices. When it detects suspicious behavior, the system raises an alert.

Other types of intrusion detection systems include:

  • Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS), which detects intruders attempting to breach a physical perimeter, be it of a building, a property, or another secured area. A PIDS is generally part of an overall physical security system.
  • A Virtual Machine-based Intrusion Detection System (VMIDS) is similar to the IDSes mentioned above but it is deployed remotely via a virtual machine.
What Is an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)?

Intrusion prevention systems (IPSes) are software solutions that monitor incoming traffic for malicious requests. An IPS can prevent attackers from delivering suspicious packets and block suspicious IPs. It uses signature recognition and recognizes attack patterns and anomalies.

How does an IPS work?

An IPS actively scans network traffic for known attack signatures and anomalies with the goal of preventing malicious traffic from entering the network. If the system determines that a packet is a threat, it drops the packet and blocks the IP address or port from future traffic.

Some activities an IPS performs include:

  • Matching IP addresses
  • Analyzing TCP connections
  • Checking packets for anomalies

When a threat is confirmed, the IPS can use response techniques like resetting a connection, blocking traffic, and sending automated alarms. Some systems may configure firewalls and replace the attack contents with warnings.

What’s the difference between an IPS and a Firewall?

Many users would ask: Why do I need an IPS if I have a firewall? The two solutions work differently and an IPS can catch packets that slip through a firewall.

While an IPS monitors inbound traffic and packets and decides whether or not to let the packets into the network, a firewall blocks traffic based on port, protocol, or IP address information.

Classification of Intrusion Prevention Systems:

There are four types of IPS:

  • Network-based intrusion prevention system (NIPS): The system works at a network level, analyzing incoming traffic across the entire network.
  • Wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS): The software monitors and analyzes network protocols across a wireless network.
  • Network Behavior Analysis (NBA): The system monitors and analyzes network traffic to detect malicious activity like DDoS (distributed denial of service) , malware, and policy violations.
  • Host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS): Monitors a single host for malicious activity.



Monitors the network and detects ongoing attacks

Controls the network and rejects incoming attacks

Compares packets according to known threat signatures

Compares packets according to known threat signatures

Proactively looks for signs that an attack is in progress.

Prevents incoming attacks by denying network traffic to suspicious packets.

Mitigates threats within the network

Blocks the threat before it gains access to the network

The main difference between an IDS and an IPS is that an IDS offers a reactive approach, mitigating threats within the network, whereas an IPS focuses on preventing attackers from entering the network to begin with.

Can you use IDS and IPS together?

An IPS can complement the work of an IDS by detecting and blocking incoming attacks. Thus, IDS and IPS can work together to provide a more complete network security solution.

Importance of Intrusion Detection and Prevention

Cyber attacks are on the rise, and the financial impact of a security attack is increasingly costly. With the average cost of a data breach over $3.8 million in 2020, companies look for effective protection.

Almost every organization has a firewall, anti-malware, or endpoint protection tool. Yet, no protection method is perfect and some packets can sneak in past firewalls. Therefore, there is a need to complement the firewall’s limitations.

Also, these methods cannot do much once an attacker is inside the network.

Even with perfect firewall rules, you are going to let some packet in that you didn’t expect. Thus, once traffic comes to your network past a firewall, you need to track it to make sure it isn’t malicious.

Intrusion detection and intrusion prevention tools can solve these challenges.

Find out what your peers are saying about Darktrace, Vectra AI, GFI and others in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software (IDPS). Updated: January 2022.
563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.