Connectivity Increases Breaches and Attack Surface
A breach or intrusion is any unauthorized access or activity in a network or computing system. Threat actors exploit diverse methods and vulnerabilities to access confidential resources, steal private data, alter data, destroy resources, or block legitimate access to resources to impair productive business operation. Threat actors are motivated by a wide range of goals ranging from monetary gain, revenge, disgruntled employees, ideological or political conflict, or simply for a competitive advantage.
The attack surface is the area of your network and other digital operations potentially open to intrusion by unauthorized access. The more connected your network and resources are, the broader the attack surface.
Traditionally, internal enterprise networks were shielded from the outside world either by denying Internet access altogether or by allowing it only behind the beefy firewall in the data center. But with the advent of the digital transformation—trends in mobility, Internet access everywhere, cloud-based computing, cloud-native companies and services, work-from-home on a scale unimaginable before 2020—businesses now thrive or fail on the very extent of their connectivity. The attack surface is huge. Vigilance like IPS/IDS is imperative.
How Does IDS/IPS Detect Threats?
IDS/IPS systems detect suspicious or unauthorized activity such as phishing attacks, virus infection and distribution, malware and ransomware installation and download, denial of service (DOS), man-in-the-middle attacks, zero-day attacks, SQL injection, and more. Because of the growth in cloud WAN and mobility, stopping cyber-attacks have become more difficult all while attackers have become more sophisticated in their tactics.
Understanding Your Organization’s Threats
Known threats are typically detected by matching traffic patterns against signature patterns. Frequently updated databases contain vast troves of signatures characterizing existing threats. IDS/IPS systems continuously look for matches against known signatures.
Unknown threats are malicious patterns never seen before—sometimes evasive variations of known threats—and are significantly more arduous to detect. IDS/IPS uses behavioral analysis to pinpoint potentially anomalous traffic patterns. Models of “ordinary” network behavior are established and updated using machine learning, heuristics, and AI. IDS/IPS continuously compares actual network traffic with these models to recognize potentially inconsistent behavior that might indicate an intrusion event.