Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) in Data Security

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

In this lesson, we'll take a look at data security, what it is, what intrusion detection systems are, some types of intrusion detection systems, and some methods used for intrusion detection.

Protecting What's Important

We live in a world where information is vital to almost everything we do. We use it to determine what to wear for the day, businesses use it to understand how they are doing, and governments use it to make informed decisions for the people they serve. So, it will come as no surprise that we go to great lengths protecting it. But if it's so important, how do we accomplish that goal? How do we protect our information from harm? There is no simple answer to that, as there are many ways for trouble to find us. So, we employ a comprehensive approach, one that makes use of data security.

What Is Data Security?

Data security is the process of protecting computer systems and their information from unauthorized access and corruption. It anticipates potential problems, and uses various preventative measures to fortify that protection. No doubt you've seen some of them before. For example, the login page that requests your user ID and password to Facebook or LinkedIn, the password you enter to gain access to your cell phone, or the backup you make of your important information. These measures mitigate the risk of access or corruption problems, and contribute to the overall protection of your system and its information.

What Is an Intrusion Detection System (IDS)?

An intrusion detection system is a data security system that continually monitors network traffic and identifies patterns or traffic that seem unusual. Once identified, the system notifies a person in authority, usually the administrator, of that activity. An example is the antivirus software you likely have running on your personal computer. This software continually scans the computer for malicious activity, alerts you, and removes (quarantines) the offending code. Unfortunately, systems like this are a necessary tool in this day and age. There are those out there that would harm your system or information for personal gain.

What Types of Intrusion Detection Systems Are There?

Intrusion detection systems are classified based on how they implement intrusion detection. Or to be more specific, where the defense mechanisms sit. As a result, there are essentially two types of intrusion detection systems:

  • NIDS - Network intrusion detection system. In this type of system, detection is placed at various important locations within the network. This has the advantage of protecting important resources on the network. The disadvantage is that those resources can be bottlenecks as intrusion detection takes time.
  • HIDS - Host intrusion detection system. In this type of system, detection is placed at each device on the network. The advantage is that all access points are covered fully. The disadvantage is that you have more instances of the intrusion detection measures, and the associated maintenance and costs.

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