The basics of intrusion prevention systems and why you need them for your business

The basics of intrusion prevention systems and why you need them for your business

Cybercrime is estimated to generate worldwide revenues of over $1.5 trillion. With such lucrative rewards, it’s no wonder hackers constantly come up with more sophisticated ways to infiltrate business systems and steal confidential data.

Unfortunately, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often not equipped with equally sophisticated technology that can thwart cyberattacks, making them prime targets. A good way to level the playing field is to augment business security with intrusion prevention systems (IPSs).

Firewalls are no longer enough

The internet is a wonderful invention that helps businesses be more efficient and collaborative, but as connections became faster and more widely accessible, their security hazards also multiplied and became harder to beat. Just as access to a file is one click away, malware is also a click away. Suddenly, firewalls aren’t enough to keep hackers at bay.

Firewalls work in a very straightforward manner: they check the source destination and port number of payloads and allow/block them from accessing your network based on their authenticity. In simpler terms, if a request is coming from a website known to have malware, the firewall blocks it, and if the website is marked as safe, the firewall allows it. Of course, this system isn’t foolproof, and hackers have used firewall security loopholes to their advantage.

Luckily, IPSs work more meticulously than firewalls. Whereas the latter only verifies the source, the former thoroughly checks individual packets of data being sent over the internet. This involves making sure that every application, IP address, and network packet is inspected, not just the source destination. For example, even if the source comes from a reputable website, if an IPS sees anything suspicious about its contents, it will be denied access.

IPSs provide proactive protection

The IPS often sits directly behind or added on to an advanced firewall. Placed between the source (incoming data) and destination (device), it protects your systems by subjecting all traffic flow through automated actions such as:

  • alerting the administrator when an incident happens
  • blocking all traffic coming from the source address
  • getting rid of the suspicious packets
  • resetting the connection

An IPS must do these without compromising network performance or hindering work from getting done. In fact, end users must not even notice it’s there.

The best IPSs also work quickly, responding to exploits in near real time and leaving no chance for threats to pass through. On top of that, they are able to correctly identify threats and avoid false positives (i.e., read legitimate packets as malicious content).

Your business needs IPS

The only way to combat hackers who use intelligent technology is to be one step smarter. IPSs help you be exactly that by strengthening your defense against incoming attacks. But as powerful as an IPS is, your business shouldn’t rely on it alone. IPSs work best when integrated into an overall cybersecurity plan and threat management scheme.

A managed IT services provider (MSP) can help you assess, plan, and implement cybersecurity measures without denting your operational costs. For a fixed monthly fee, SMBs can have the sophisticated protection big companies have without paying for a full IT department.

Quicktech is your trusted MSP in Burnaby, Richmond, Vancouver and other locations across Greater Vancouver. With over two decades of experience in working with SMBs, we know just the right cybersecurity for you. Contact us today.

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