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Prerita Agarwal
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23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Intrusion detection is the act of continuously monitoring and analyzing network events for signals of potential incidents, violations, or threats to your security policy. The technique of doing intrusion detection and subsequently terminating the detected instances is known as intrusion prevention. Intrusion detection systems (IDS) & intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are security solutions, which become the core of your network to detect and prevent potential occurrences.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) look for signs that match known cyberattacks in network traffic. Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) examine packets as well, but they can also prevent packet delivery based on the type of assault it identifies, thereby aiding in the prevention of the attack. In this article, we'll be walking through all the potential differences between the IPS vs IDS in detail. 

Network Intrusion

IPS and IDS are here with us to conquer such network intrusions as Malware, data storage devices, social engineering attacks, etc.

But what is a network intrusion? Any unauthorized action on a computer network is referred to as a network intrusion. Knowing how to detect an intrusion requires a thorough understanding of network activities and common security concerns. Malware can be blocked by a properly designed and deployed network intrusion detection and prevention system. So, let's start with the IPS ( Intrusion Prevention System ): 

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Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a system that detects and prevents intrusions. It tries to identify possible threats by monitoring properties of a protected host or network, and it can employ anomaly, signature, or hybrid detection methods to do so. Unlike an IDS, an IPS initiates steps to prevent or mitigate a threat. While an IPS may generate an alert, it also aids in the prevention of intrusion.

The platform checks for patterns that signal vulnerabilities or exploitation efforts using signature-based detection.

Anomaly detection, on the other hand, examines network traffic and discovers performance irregularities. An automated response will be sent when the system identifies an anomaly. Don't worry. We will discuss IDS below very briefly, and you will end up here with every in-depth detail about both systems.

These systems also include automated actions such as traffic source address blocking, malicious packet dropping, and user notifications. An IPS solution is, at its core, not merely a diagnostic tool for detecting network security risks, but also a platform that can respond to them.

Classification of IPS

  1. NIPS: A network-based IPS analyzes and secures your network's traffic.
  2. WIPS: In a wireless IPS, keep an eye on what's going on in a wireless network and defend against an assault that originates there.
  3. NBA: A network behavior analysis look for assaults on your network that include unusual traffic.
  4. HIPS: Events that occur on a specific host are being scanned in a host-based IPS.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a passive monitoring system that detects cybersecurity threats to a company. If a suspected intrusion is discovered, the IDS sends out an alert to security staff, instructing them to examine the situation and take appropriate action.

There are several ways to classify an IDS solution. It is indeed the location of its deployment. An IDS can be implemented on a single server to monitor network traffic, ongoing processes, logs, and so on, or it can be deployed at the network level to identify risks across the entire network.

A tradeoff exists between the depth of transparency and the range and context that a system receives when deciding between a network-based intrusion detection system (NIDS) and a host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS).

IDS solutions are also classed according to how they detect possible threats. To identify known threats, a signature-based IDS consults a library of signatures. An anomaly-based IDS creates a model of the protected system's "typical" behavior and alerts on any deviations. To identify potential dangers, a hybrid system employs both methods.

Classification of IDS

  1. NIDS: A network intrusion detection system chooses a location on your network and views all traffic on all machines from that location.
  2. HIDS: A host-based intrusion detection system monitors traffic to and from isolated devices on your network, and ignores traffic from other devices.
  3. PIDS: Whereas a protocol-based intrusion detection system puts a firewall between a device and a server, and watches all traffic between them.
  4. APIDS: Here, an application protocol-based IDS place protection within a set of servers and monitor how they communicate.
  5. Hybrid: The work done in a hybrid IDS is to integrate some of the tactics outlined above to set up a system with all the customized needs.

How are IDS and IPS Different from Firewalls?

Traditional network firewalls allow or restrict network connections based on a set of static criteria. If suitable rules have been specified, this can help avoid invasions. Firewalls are designed to prevent intrusion by limiting access between networks, but they do not prevent attacks from within a network.

When they suspect intrusion, IDS and IPS issue alarms, and they also monitor for attacks from within a network. Next-generation firewalls typically integrate standard firewall technology with deep packet inspection, IPS, and IDS.

Key Differences

In the following sections, we'll go over some significant differences between IPS and IDS:

  • A control system that accepts or rejects a registered packet is known as an intrusion prevention system or IPS. IDS demands the examination and decision of the next steps by a person or other device, which can vary depending on the amount of network activity generated on a regular basis.
  • IDS and IPS both examine and compare network packets to known threats contents. IDS are sensing and surveillance tools that do not take action on their own.
  • When an IPS system fails, it opens the door to unwanted attacks. Remember to apply a firewall to filter, restrict, and authorize ports, addresses, and operations; nevertheless, some of them can be accessible across the network as well. Unless tech is combined into a single device, the manager must choose between using the device as an inline IPS or identifying strategically located sensors to passively track network traffic.
  • Configuration mode in IDS is the inline mode, which is usually on layer 2. In IPS, however, setup mode is either inline or as an end host.
  • The IPS, on the other hand, seeks to gather and drop risky packets before they reach their intended destination. It is more aggressive than IDS, which only requires the database to be updated with new threat data on a regular basis.

Difference between IPS and IDS





The IPS is a technology that identifies and even removes malware based on a set of rules. The IDS is a system that looks for malware in files going through the gateway.

System Type

An IPS is an active kind of system. An IDS is a Passive kind of system.


Inline communication is used in the IPS. The IDS interacts outside of the band.


Because of the detecting procedure, the IPS slows down the network. The network's performance is unaffected by the IDS.

Anomaly behavior

Malicious traffic is dropped, alerted, or cleaned. Sends an alarm/alert when malicious traffic is detected.

Detection mechanism

Detection of statistical anomalies Signature detection:

  • Vulnerability-facing signatures 
  • Exploit-facing signatures

Signature detection:

  • Exploit-facing signatures.


The IPS has the advantage of automatically updating the mistakes without the need for additional software. The IDS does not interfere with the network's operation, thus it has no influence or problems.

Also see, Cyber Security

Which To Choose And When?

The decision between IDS and IPS software for a certain use case is critical. However, the effectiveness of a specific IDS/IPS solution is an even more important issue to consider. False-positive or false-negative observations might cause an IDS or IPS to restrict legitimate traffic or enable serious threats to get through. While there is often a tradeoff between the two, the more advanced the system, the lower the overall error rate.

Which tool is best is primarily determined by your requirements. Both IDS and IPS are effective in different areas, but there is a strong case to be made that IPS is a far more comprehensive cybersecurity solution. Many businesses are going for IPSs over IDSs because of the automatic functions they provide.

If you wish to detect attacks, however, an IDS with a visual focus is probably a much better choice.

Also read - active and passive attacks


  1. Is IDS required if I already have IPS?
    The fact lies here that an IPS is not the same as an IDS. However, the technology used in an IDS to detect security issues is very similar to the technology used in an IPS to avoid security issues. It's critical to recognize that an IDS and an IPS are two very different tools.
  2. Why are IPS and IDS so important?
    IDS and IPS systems are useful because they can detect cyberattacks that could harm a company's data assets. A cyber attack can have terrible effects. A malware assault on a corporation costs an average of $2.4 million.
  3. Is it possible for IDS and IPS to work together?
    Yes, IDS and IPS can definitely work together. IDS and IPS are frequently combined with firewalls by current vendors. These operations undergo the technologies like Unified Threat Management (UTM) or Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW).
  4. What exactly is an IDPS?
    IDPS is the acronym for Intrusion Detection and Prevention System. It is identical to an IPS, or Intrusion Prevention System. Here, the activity of "Detection" is suggested when the term "Intrusion Prevention System" is used.
  5. An IDS works on which OSI Layer?
    Sometimes, it is considered that IDS functions at OSI Layers 3 and 4, but IPS runs at all levels from Layer 2 to Layer 7. Assume a HIDS, which collects traffic data from multiple sources, allowing it to operate not only across packets but also across streams.

Key Takeaways

So, to summarize the article, we discussed very briefly both the Intrusion detection and Intrusion prevention systems, we also discussed their classifications and the key differences. Lately, we discussed why these intrusion systems are different from firewalls and which one we should choose between IPS and IDS. And then we discussed all the asked doubts which come across frequently.

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Hope you learned something. Also, check out our articles on Cyber crime & typesTypes of Biometrics,  and Threats to Information Security

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Topics covered
Network Intrusion
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
Classification of IPS
Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
Classification of IDS
How are IDS and IPS Different from Firewalls?
Key Differences
Difference between IPS and IDS
Which To Choose And When?
Key Takeaways