An intrusion detection system (IDS) can protect your business from a wide range of cyber threats. As the name suggests, it’s designed to monitor traffic for suspicious or malicious activity that could indicate an intrusion. There are different types of IDSs, however. Some businesses use a host-based IDS, whereas others use a network-based IDS. What’s the difference between a host-based IDS and a network-based IDS?

What Is a Host-Based IDS?

A host-based IDS is a type of IDS that monitors both network traffic and devices for suspicious or malicious activity. They are installed locally on endpoints, such as computers. You can install a host-based IDS on your computer. After configuring it, the host-based IDS will monitor traffic on your business’s network and the computer on which it’s installed.

What Is a Network-Based IDS?

A network-based IDS is a type of IDS that exclusively monitors network traffic. Most IDSs can be classified as either host-based or network-based. Network-based IDSs live up to their namesake by monitoring network traffic. They don’t monitor computers or devices. Instead, network-based IDSs only monitor network traffic. They’ll scan data packets while checking them for signs of suspicious or malicious activity.

Differences Between Host-Based and Network-Based IDSs

Host-based IDSs and network-based IDSs are both capable of identifying cyber threats. With that said, they are two different types of IDSs. Network-based IDSs are more common than host-based IDSs. In the past, all IDSs were network-based. It wasn’t until recently that host-based IDSs emerged as an alternative.

For greater protection against cyber threats, you may want to choose a host-based IDS. Both types of IDSs can monitor network traffic for suspicious or malicious activity. Only host-based IDSs, though, can monitor computers and similar endpoints as well.

Network-based IDSs, on the other hand, are typically easier to set up. You can easily install a network-based IDS. Installing a host-based IDS requires a bit more work. If this is your first time using an IDS, you may want to stick with a network-based IDS for this reason.

In Conclusion

You shouldn’t assume that all IDSs are the same. There are host-based IDSs, and there are network-based IDSs. Host-based IDSs are designed to monitor network traffic and computers, whereas network-based IDSs are only designed to monitor network traffic. There are other nuances between these IDSs, so you should learn the differences between them to determine which IDS type is right for your business’s cybersecurity needs.