IPS stands for “intrusion prevention system” and it does what it says on the tin—it prevents intruders from accessing your network and causing irreparable and expensive harm through financial losses and data breaches.
It’s a network security system that analyzes network traffic flows to detect, flag, isolate, and prevent malicious activity and code from harming networks. Often situated behind a firewall, IPS provides an additional, in-depth layer of analysis that further inspects web traffic—often performing a deep dive into IP packets and signatures to find any anomalies. Anything deemed malicious is isolated, resolved, and flagged with IT teams for further inspection. Some solutions also come with the ability to detect any vulnerabilities within the network, which can also be highlighted for admins to investigate.
It might seem like an unnecessary step—after all, why bother when firewalls filter out malicious traffic in the first place? But IPS does a vital job in triple-checking all incoming traffic and filtering out particularly evasive threats or attacks that only become malicious after passing a firewall. IPS is beneficial in delivering security at deeper layers in the network, which is particularly helpful in tackling the unprecedented rise in DDoS attacks at the third layer in 2021—a 95% rise, to be precise.
For more information on what IPS is, what it does, and how it functions, you can read our blog: What Is Intrusion Prevention?
A lot of the intrusion prevention systems on this list are part of a consolidation of other security tools under one product, such as firewalls or unified threat management (UTM) solutions. This is due in part to the fact that IPS solutions are usually placed directly behind a firewall, so they’re often integrated into other solutions.