Network Security

Intrusion Prevention Market Guide 2024 

A guide to the Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) market.

Intrusion Prevention Market Guide 2024 

Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) will constantly monitor your network to identify any malicious activities that may be trying to exploit a known vulnerability. If these monitoring tools identify a suspicious activity, the details are passed on to your SOC team who can investigate and remediate the issue.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why Intrusion Prevention matters
  • How IPS works
  • Best Providers
  • Features Checklist
  • Our Recommendations
  • Future Trends

Why IPS Matters:

  • Cloud environment intrusions increased by 75% YoY (CrowdStrike)
  • 18% of large businesses report that network breaches have prevented their staff from carrying out day-to-day work (UK Govt)
  • “Attackers now have tools that allow them to automate the generation of malware and zero day variances. Zero day threats could be a completely new vulnerability that was unintentionally or intentionally put into some code, or a malware variant that wants to get into a system or a company.” (Nayeem Islam)

How It Works:

Intrusion Prevention Solutions sit inline, usually between your firewall and your router. This allows it to accurately assess traffic, making it easy to highlight discrepancies. Every information packet is inspected as it passes through the IPS. 

These packets can be analyzed in different ways, common techniques include:

  1. Signature-based: by utilizing a database of known threats, signature-based detection can quickly identify known threats. While this method is fast and provides a good deal of contextual information, it cannot identify new, unknown threats.
  2. Anomaly-based: by checking unusual behaviors against baselines, this method can identify new threats that affect your network. However, there are many reasons for anomalies and malicious intent is not always the answer – this can result in false positives.
  3. Policy-based: this method uses pre-defined policies to set rules of what is and what isn’t allowed. This requires an experienced network administrator to set it up but can be highly configurable.

These processes are true for IPS and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) solutions. The difference between the two arises in what they do next. IDS can only detect malicious activity, without doing anything to fix it. IPS, on the other hand, can undertake a range of activities to remediate vulnerabilities including reporting, blocking, and dropping connections when something untoward is identified.

Best Providers:

Features Checklist:

  • Real-Time Threat Detection: Ability to identify and block threats in real time to ensure that remediation is not delayed
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Protection against a wide range of attacks, including malware, exploits, and DDoS – this should also cover new, unknown threats
  • Integration: Compatibility with existing security infrastructure and SIEM systems ensures that your detection and response capabilities can be robust
  • Scalability: As your organization grows, your IPS should scale to ensure that you always have complete coverage
  • Reporting and Analytics: Detailed reports and analytics on detected threats and system performance – it should be possible to export these for various stakeholders and integrate with SIEM tools
  • Automatic Updates: Regular updates to threat databases and detection algorithms, ensuring that you are always protected against the latest threats
  • Low False Positives: High accuracy in threat detection to minimize false positives – this ensures that staff can focus on essential matters
  • Cost: Transparent pricing models with a low total cost of ownership so that the solution can be deployed across your entire technology stack

Our Recommendations: While it is important to find the right features and capabilities for your needs, but there are other factors to consider when selecting the right solution. 

  • For large enterprises: Choose a solution that prioritizes:
    • Robust scalability
    • Real-time threat detection
    • Comprehensive reporting optimized for a range of stakeholders
  • For organizations within highly regulated sectors: Ensure the tool provides advanced detection methods such as signature-based, anomaly-based, and hybrid detection
  • Integration: Look for solutions that will integrate effectively with your existing security infrastructure and SIEM systems – this enhances security, as well as ensuring efficiency
  • For smaller organizations: Select tools with low false positive rates to ensure reliable threat detection
  • For ease of use: Choose solutions that offer intuitive management interfaces and easy policy configuration

Future Trends: 

  • Increased Use of AI and Machine Learning: ML and AI capabilities will drive an improvement in the speed and threat detection rates. Novel threats can be identified, with the threat context shared, thereby making all organizations more secure.
  • Integration with Cloud Security: IPS solutions are increasingly integrating with cloud platforms to protect hybrid environments – as organizations continue to offer flexible work schedules and patterns, the need for this will only increase.
  • Zero Trust Security: While this might already be in process, we will see the emphasis on zero trust to continue, ensuring secure access control across the technology stack.
  • Enhanced Automation: Over the coming years we will see a growth in the adoption of automation tools for enforcing security policies and responding to threats. This drives down the number of tasks for staff, without adversely affecting security.