The challenges and techniques of an intrusion detection system

The cyber attacks are becoming sophisticated enough, failing the accurate intrusion detections. The technological advancements demand higher tier cybersecurity. Out of all the challenges of cybersecurity, the most important one is a precise intrusion detection system. It is because the detection of malicious and suspicious network traffic is impossible without an intrusion detection system. A failed intrusion detection system compromises the CIA triads that are integrity, availability, and confidentiality. Many advanced intrusion detection systems have been introduced to deal with the threats of cybersecurity. It includes anomaly-based intrusion detection system and signature-based intrusion detection system. The attackers use advanced invasion techniques, which is a great challenge for the intrusion detection system. Here we highlight the problems and methods of an intrusion detection system. We will also highlight the challenges and techniques of an intrusion detection system.


Before discussing the challenges and techniques of an intrusion detection system, we would say that: An intrusion detection system is a defense tool in all organization, so its implementation faces the problems mentioned below:

Human intervention 

The organizations are not clear about the requirements while deploying an intrusion detection system. With the rise in technology, intrusion detection systems are becoming more advanced to handle malicious traffic. But it is not possible without human intervention. The administrator must be efficient enough to handle the notification of detection of malicious network activity. Even IDS are not skilled enough to change the router’s access control list. So, before deploying an IDS, it is a big challenge in organizations whether the administrator will handle it or not.

Logs management 

The log records maintenance is necessary to keep a record of the occurrence of events. The daily history of malicious activities makes the IDS logs. The thing is IDS are not efficient enough to maintain these records. Still, everything is manual, and it is giving a tough time to organizations.

Incident handling and response plan 

The intrusion detected by IDS must provide a piece of adequate information for incident handling and response plan. An IDS administrator must confirm the security breaches, conflicts, and malicious network events. Unfortunately, sometimes, these confirmations not made timely, which makes the incident handling and response plan useless in organizations. The organizations must focus more on The challenges and techniques of an intrusion detection system.

Which type of IDS is best?

The main challenge while deploying an IDS in an organization is to choose the right type of IDS. It varies from organization to organization. It is beneficial for some organizations to determine the hybrid solution of network-based and host-based IDS. Contrary to this, many organizations work efficiently by choosing just the network-based IDS. It is because it monitors multiple systems.

Moreover, the production systems do not load any software like the host-based IDS. Host-based IDS also require many resources as compared to network-based IDS because it is a processor-based and memory intensive.

Designing the baseline policy 

The baseline policy is essential to create before installing an IDS to avoid false positives. The sensor to manager ratio is all dependent on the configured IDS sensor. The console may receive many false positive because of poor configure IDS sensor.

Reactive nature 

The IDS technology works on attack signatures as it is reactive. It is also a great challenge for the organizations to record patterns of previous attacks. The updating of the signature database required to add the new attack details and to fetch a solution for the last attack.

There are two techniques, signature-based intrusion detection system and anomaly-based intrusion detection system. It helps organizations to face the challenges effectively.

SIDS (Signature-based intrusion detection systems) 

SIDS are also known as misuse detection or knowledge-based detection. It is because it finds the matching patterns to detect malicious attacks. The previous exposure identified by the matching patterns. An alarm also makes IDS to report efficiently when last intrusion signature matches with the new one. The detection accuracy is best when used the SIDS technique. As it works by matching the previous detection signature with the new one. So, it does not work in case of a zero-day attack. SIDS also matches the network packets against the earlier names. SIDS covers some of the challenges of IDS but still ineffective for the zero-day attack. So, here is another technique which handles this problem, anomaly-based intrusion detection systems.

AIDS (anomaly-based intrusion detection systems) 

AIDS has provided a solution for all the limitation of SIDS. The knowledge-based methods, statistical and machine learning are used in AIDS to check the normal behavior of a computer system. AIDS check this by comparing it with a created model. The model is created using machine learning, so any deviation between the established model and regular computer considers as the intrusion. It has reduced human intervention to some extent. Unlike the SIDS, it does not follow the signature database, so it identifies the zero-day attacks because of the minor deviation. Although it helps in identifying the early intrusions, it can also increase the rate of false positive. Because some anomalies are just the normal activities which we consider the invasions.


The content mentioned above clearly depicts that IDS is facing many challenges regarding its deployment. Unfortunately, the technique released yet is not enough to handle all the problems. The reactive nature of IDS is also a big challenge for organizations. IDS must be proactive rather than reactive.

Moreover, organizations are confused about choosing a host-based or network-based IDS. The organizations must properly update their requirements. When requirements are precise, it will be more comfortable to select IDS and to handle the incidents.

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