Digital security intrusion detection system

Types of Intrusion Detection and How They Can Benefit Your Business

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) are designed to detect possible threats and vulnerabilities, helping businesses keep their systems and data safe against both external and internal threats. You can think of IDS as the second line of defense against malicious activity, after your firewall.

We recently discussed why having an IDS installed in your system is beneficial for your business. This article will go over the different intrusion detection systems and things to consider when choosing the right one.

Different Types of Intrusion Detection Systems & Their Benefits

Active Intrusion Detection IDS

Active intrusion detection systems react to a suspected attack or intrusion automatically. These systems are always active and ready to alert security personnel or other software to take the necessary action(s).

These systems offer quick response time and don’t need manual activation for system protection. However, active systems can be relatively resource-intensive, and if not tuned properly, they can detect and attack themselves as well.

Passive Intrusion Detection IDS

These are the exact opposite of active systems. Passive intrusion detection systems are designed to observe and analyze the network activity only when turned on. The system very rarely attacks itself and isn’t as resource-intensive. Still, the obvious downside to this type of system is the potential risks that may crop up during downtimes.

Network-Based IDS

These systems include three core components:

  • A sensor
  • Network Interface Card
  • Separate management system

The network segment monitors the computer traffic along a specific segment, allowing multiple devices to be linked to one system. This system consumes a lot of power and requires extensive maintenance. (These are not a good long-term solution.)

Host-Based IDS

These systems require software to be installed on every system individually. The software monitors system activity and reports it to the operator automatically. The costs involved here are minimal, but there is a chance that a tech-savvy host may override the system.

Knowledge-Based IDS

Knowledge-based intrusion detection systems are more common compared to behavior-based systems. These systems use information from past attacks and identify system vulnerabilities, determining threats accordingly. For this reason, even though there are fewer false positives, new attacks might also go unnoticed unless the system is updated manually.

Behavior-Based IDS

These are very resource-intensive systems that learn normal behavior patterns and determine malicious activity accordingly. Once the system has learned all it needs to, it doesn’t take up as many resources.

This system can catch any irregularities and, depending on the tolerance level, has the potential to stop nearly any attack. However, the false positives (which occur more frequently with this sort of system) may lead to inefficiencies in the system.


With so many systems out there, each with its pros and cons, choosing the right one isn’t simple. Instead, you need someone with enough technical familiarity with the system to identify what the issues are, consider your budget, and suggest a solution accordingly.

Americom has been developing custom security solutions for companies for many years now and we have a proven track record of efficiency and effectiveness. Let us help you find the right solution for your security issues. Get in touch with us today to see which intrusion detection system is best for you and your business.