Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

IPS - Intrusion Prevention System

Intrusion Detection and Prevention System is another name for Intrusion Prevention System. It's a network security program that looks for harmful activity on a network or system. Intrusion prevention systems' main functions are detecting malicious behavior, collecting information about it, reporting it, and trying to block or stop it. Because intrusion prevention systems and intrusion detection systems both monitor network traffic and system operations for malicious behaviour, intrusion prevention systems are used in conjunction with intrusion detection systems (IDS).

IPS - Intrusion Prevention System

IPS normally logs information about observed events, notifies security administrators about significant occurrences, and generates reports. Many IPS can also try to prevent a threat from succeeding if it has been discovered. They utilize various response strategies, including the IPS interrupting the attack, modifying the security environment, and changing the substance of the attack.

Why is Intrusion Prevention Systems important?

To enable secure and trusted information exchange across diverse businesses in today's networked business environments, a high level of security is required. After traditional technologies, an intrusion prevention system serves as an adjustable safeguard technology for system security. Lower expenses and higher performance flexibility result from avoiding incursions by an automated approach that does not require IT intervention. Because cyber-attacks are only going to get more complex, defensive technology must keep up.

Advantages of Intrusion prevention system

The following are some of the advantages of intrusion protection systems:

  • Lowering the likelihood of security incidents
  • Providing dynamic threat protection
  • Defending against zero-day threats, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and brute-force attacks
  • Informing admins automatically when questionable activity is discovered
  • Permitting or refusing certain inbound traffic to a network
  • Reducing network maintenance for IT workers.

Drawbacks of Intrusion prevention systems

The following are some of the disadvantages of intrusion protection systems:

  • When a system detects unusual network activity and assumes it is malicious, it may be a false positive, resulting in a DoS attack on an innocent user.
  • If an organization's bandwidth and network capacity are insufficient, an IPS tool may slow down a system
  • If a network has numerous IPS, data must transit through each to reach the end-user, which may reduce network performance.
  • IPS is more costly than others.

Classification of Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is arranged into four kinds:

  1. The network-based interruption anticipation framework (NIPS) analyses protocol activity to monitor the entire network for suspicious traffic.
  2. Wireless interruption anticipation framework (WIPS) Analyzes wireless networking protocols to keep an eye on suspicious traffic on a wireless network.
  3. Network conduct investigation (NBA): It analyses network data to look for threats that cause odd traffic patterns, such as distributed denial of service assaults, certain types of malware, and policy violations.
  4. Host-based interruption anticipation framework (HIPS):It's a built-in software package that monitors a single host for suspicious behavior by examining events that take place on that host.

How do intrusion prevention systems detect malicious activity?

Intrusion prevention systems detect malicious activity in a very different way by utilising different techniques, but the two most common are signature-based detection and statistical anomaly-based detection. In its signature-based detection mechanism, intrusion prevention systems use a dictionary of individually identifiable signatures detected in the code of each exploit. There are two types of signature-based detection approaches for intrusion prevention systems: exploit-facing and vulnerability-facing. Detecting harmful activity by identifying individual vulnerabilities is the goal of exploit-facing methodologies, whereas detecting malicious activity by detecting common attack patterns is the goal of vulnerability-facing methods.

Difference between Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

The following features differentiate Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) from Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):

  1. Intrusion prevention systems are deployed in-line and can actively prevent or block suspected invasions.
  2. An IPS can issue an alert drop malicious identifications packets, re-establish a connection, or block traffic from the attacker's IP address.
  3. IPS can also defragment packet streams, reduce TCP sequencing difficulties, clean out unwanted transport and network layer options, and repair CRC errors.

Detection Method of Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

  1. Signature-based recognition: Signature-based IPS examines network packets and compares them to signatures, which are attack patterns that have been pre-built and pre-determined.
  2. Statistical inconsistency-based recognition: Anomaly-based IPS keeps track of network traffic and compares it to a set of rules. The baseline will determine what is considered usual for that network and which protocols are used. However, if the baselines are not appropriately configured, it may cause a false alarm.
  3. Stateful convention examination recognition: This IPS technique detects protocol deviation by comparing observed events with pre-built profiles of widely agreed-upon criteria of non-harmful activity.

How Do IPS Work?

An intrusion prevention system detects malicious activity and recognizes attack patterns by actively examining routed network data. The IPS engine regularly scans network traffic for known attack patterns and compares it to its own signature database. An IPS is intended to guard against a wide range of threats, including the following:

  • Denial of Service (DOS) assault
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) assault
  • Various kinds of adventures
  • Worms
  • Viruses

The IPS thoroughly inspects every packet that travels across the network in real-time. If the IPS detects any malicious or suspicious packets, it will take one of the following actions:

  1. Terminate the compromised TCP session and block the offending source IP address or user account from accessing any application, target hosts, or other network resources in an unethical manner.
  2. Reprogram or adjust the firewall to avoid future attacks of this nature.
  3. Removes or replaces any dangerous content that is found on the network after an attack. This is accomplished by repackaging payloads, removing header information, and removing any malicious attachments from file or email servers.

Types of Prevention

To defend the network from unauthorized access, an intrusion prevention system is usually set up to use various methods. These are some of them:

  • Signature-Based- The signature-based technique employs predefined signatures of well-known network hazards. When an attack is launched that matches one of these signatures or patterns, the system reacts.
  • Anomaly-Based - The anomaly-based strategy keeps an eye on the network for any unusual or unexpected activity. The system immediately disables access to the target host if an abnormality is identified.
  • Policy-Based - Administrators must configure security policies by organizational security policy and network infrastructure in this manner. When behaviour that violates a security policy occurs, an alert is triggered and sent to the system administrators.

IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) - Proactive Network Security

IPS systems provide proactive protection against some of the most well-known network exploits of today. When properly configured, an IPS protects against malicious or undesired packets as well as brute force attacks. The Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) from Forcepoint provides robust intrusion prevention and detection for any network, allowing you to respond to threats in minutes rather than hours and protect your most valuable data and application assets.

What has been the evolution of IPS technology?

Because firewalls lacked deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities in the early 2000s, IPS was considered a separate technology from firewalls. As a result, IPS sits in front of the firewall, monitoring traffic and taking its security measures. However, because early effective IPS solutions - like antivirus manufacturers - relied primarily on maintaining a signature database, the process of scanning traffic had a few issues. First, DPI-based matching could cause network traffic to slow down, and second, legitimate traffic was a serious worry.

Later generations of IPS systems included faster inspection, the use of machine learning for detection, and the addition of user and application control, where only certain accounts can access some or all of an application (called "next-generation IPS").

IPS soon made its way into next-generation firewalls (NGFW), allowing it to do even more things based on DPI and user activity, like blocking known malware, modifying URL filtering, and reconfiguring VPNs and the firewall itself.

Furthermore, advancements in user and application-based security-enabled enterprises to monitor, detect and enforce internal compliance with security policies as part of their overall security strategy.

The advantages of a next-generation firewall

It's critical to think about a next-generation firewall when adopting IPS. Most NGFWs include IPS technology (replacing the need for a separate solution) and offer a number of advantages to the organisation, including improved network security, increased user productivity, improved bandwidth management, optimization, simplified management, and lower total cost of ownership. Traditional firewalls only filter traffic into and out of the business network, whereas NGFWs, with their DPI and IPS capabilities, assist in combating particular cyberattacks on apps. The issues of an IPS are strongly intertwined with those of an NGFW, making it a very realistic option for most enterprises looking to increase their cyberthreat prevention while also enhancing adherence to corporate security policies.

Why is Next-Generation Protection Important?

Ransomware usually infiltrates a network and spreads in one of several ways:

  • Using fraudulent, hacked, or drive-by downloads
  • Exploiting a network or system weakness
  • In email attachments or phishing URLs
  • On a USB stick or other storage device

Blocking network exploits

Next-generation firewalls must have IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) technology. It searches network traffic for specific exploits, patterns, and abnormalities that suggest an attack using deep packet inspection. Attacks often use malicious inputs to compromise a host program or service, such as the Eternal Blue exploit used by WannaCry and Not Petya, to gain sufficient control to execute malware such as ransomware.

Types of Network threats:

  • ICMP Storms: A large number of ICMP echoes could indicate malicious transmissions such as searching for IP addresses.
  • Ping to Death: A ping command is used to check if another computer is up and operating via a network. A user can misconfigure the ping command to transmit an unusually large packet of data to the target computer, causing it to crash or go down briefly.
  • SSL Evasion: An attacker tries to get around a security device by employing encrypted SSL tunnels, which are not validated by security devices.
  • IP Fragmentation: Programs such as Flag route intercept and rewrite egress traffic destined for a certain host, allowing an attack to continue.
  • SMTP mass mailing attacks: Misconfigured email addresses cause SMTP DoS attacks, which put a lot of burden on mail servers.
  • DoS/DDoS attacks: Attackers flood an enterprise network server with many connection requests that appear to be legitimate to the server. If the quantity of such connection requests exceeds the server's rate, real users will be unable to access the service. A Denial of Service (DoS) stands for Denial-of-Service attack. In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, attackers install malicious malware on many individual computers and use them to conduct DoS attacks from multiple places at the same time.
  • SYN Flood attacks: The attacker sends a server a large number of 'Please start communication with me' packets but no follow-up packets, depleting the server's memory resources designated to these requests.
  • Http obfuscation: Many web server assaults occur by obfuscating URL characters (for example, by utilizing hexadecimal numbers), which provides attackers unjustified access.
  • Port Scanning: Attackers try to figure out which ports are open on a specific host or a group of hosts on the network by scanning different ports. After obtaining this information, attacks for known vulnerabilities in these services are attempted.
  • ARP Spoofing: When a MAC address on a local network is previously known, the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is utilized to find it. A sending host sends out an ARP packet (request) on the network, asking for the host's MAC address with a specific IP address, and receiving the same in return. The network traffic is diverted to another site with information valuable to the attackers by spoofing phony ARP requests outside the network.
  • CGI Attacks: Remote attackers can execute arbitrary actions on a server running a vulnerable CGI script by sending a malicious web request containing Shell metacharacters (such as '|'). If these commands are executed, an attacker can get local or interactive access to the host.
  • Buffer overflow attacks: It arises when a programme or process tries to store more data in a buffer than the buffer was meant to hold. This extra data can overflow into certain buffers and contain code that performs specified tasks, such as destroying the user's files.
  • OS Fingerprinting attacks: OS fingerprinting is a way of identifying the operating system installed on the device. A hacker can use this information to do reconnaissance on the network before launching an attack. This information is used to exploit the vulnerabilities of particular operating systems.
  • SMB Probes: The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is an application layer network protocol that allows users to share printers, files, and serial ports. SMB is probing attacks in MS Windows environments that involve file or print sharing focus on instances where users use the SMB protocol to share files across several subnets across the internet.

Selecting the most effective intrusion prevention system

The market for intrusion protection systems is extremely diverse. As a result, selecting the best intrusion detection system is a difficult task. There are many necessary steps that are important for reducing the complexity of selecting the best intrusion prevention system (IPS) i.e., Setting a budget, defining the specifications that your new system must meet, and researching the many intrusion prevention systems in the market. Keep in mind that an intrusion prevention system is a stand-alone security solution. While an intrusion prevention system (IPS) can help detect malicious network activity, a comprehensive security strategy should include data protection, endpoint security, incident response, and other technologies and resources.


An IPS can be used as a programming tool or as a piece of equipment. In a perfect world (hypothetically), IPS relies on the simple rule that filthy traffic enters and clean traffic exits. Intrusion prevention systems are essentially intrusion detection systems that have been expanded. The main difference is that, unlike intrusion detection systems, Intrusion Prevention Systems can block and prevent successfully detected blockages. An IPS, for example, can drop vengeful packages, obstructing traffic from a responsible IP address, and so on.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA