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The importance of securing your business network communications and information means that, as a network administrator, you need to invest in the very best security measures. Among the most effective are two tools that Cisco has developed: the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). This solution allows you to be protected against a wide range of threats, including Adaptive Persistent Threats (APTs), botnets, targeted attacks, SQL injection attacks and malware targeting application and OS vulnerabilities. Cisco IPS solutions come in various different forms, including as dedicated IPS appliances, integrated IPS services, hardware modules for Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR) and Cisco Catalyst Switches or Cisco IOS software-based solutions for ISR routers.

The Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) specialises in the accurate identification and classification of malicious traffic, such as worms, adware, spyware, network devices and the abuse of applications, stopping them before there is any impact on business continuity. Network administrators can use Cisco IPS solutions to ward off threats from multiple vectors, of which examples include server, network and desktop endpoints. The system inspects in detail network traffic at Layers 2 through 7, in the process shielding the network from vulnerability exploitations, policy violations and anomalous activity.

With a Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) in place, the network administrator is assured of the most resilient and scalable network solution, as the system wide and unique security ecosystem that is employed by the IPS solution assesses and responds to threats. Features of this alliance include cross-solution feedback linkages, multivendor event correlation, common policy management, passive/active fingerprinting, attack path identification and IPS collaboration based on the Cisco Security Agent host. Threats to your network can vary greatly at any one time, which is why the Cisco IPS solution responds by evolving and adapting to remain ahead of the security landscape, with the threats of both known and unknown attacks being mitigated.

You'll want a solution for your network that saves time and resources in addition to the assets and productivity of your organisation, which is why the Cisco IPS solution brings such benefits as anomaly detection, extensive behavioural analysis, rapid threat response techniques and policy adjustments to ensure the ultimate protection of your business and infrastructure. Another feature of an IPS solution is the ability to load signature files. These are like antivirus software definitions, as they look for patterns based on past attacks.

The Cisco Intrusion Detection System (IDS), meanwhile, is a physical device that alerts you when an attack occurs, just like any other alarm system. However, also like any other alarm system, it does not in itself combat the threat - or in this case, block the connection. There are various advantages to the deployment of the IDS system in promiscuous mode - which refers to the sensor being placed where it is not in direct connect with the network, but is nonetheless still able to hear all network traffic. These benefits include no network impact, jitters or latency, as well as no impact on the network in the event of a sensor failing or simply being overloaded. So, while the IDS system is restricted to merely alerting you about an attack, the IPS system is also able to block it.

The Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is one of the leading solutions of its type, not only protecting your network against all manner of sophisticated threats and coming in many different forms, but also offering powerful capabilities to help organisations meet regulatory requirements. Other features of the IPS system include simplified management options - such as the easy to use and powerful IPS Manager Express - and other advanced features. Combined with the constant updates that are possible thanks to the work of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO), an IPS solution is a powerful means of stopping ever-present network security threats.

Contact us at Proxar IT Consulting now, so your business can benefit from Cisco IDS and IPS solutions. We put strong emphasis on security and have extensive experience with implementing those security solutions.