Intrusion Detection Systems
Another device that can be placed on the network for security purposes is an intrusion detection system, or IDS. An IDS does not add any additional security; instead, it provides the functionality to identify if the network is being attacked. An IDS can be configured to watch for specific types of activities and then alert security personnel if that activity occurs. An IDS also can log various types of traffic on the network for analysis later. An IDS is an essential part of any good security setup.
Sidebar: Virtual Private Networks
Using firewalls and other security technologies, organizations can effectively protect many of their information resources by making them invisible to the outside world. But what if an employee working from home requires access to some of these resources? What if a consultant is hired who needs to do work on the internal corporate network from a remote location? In these cases, a virtual private network (VPN) is called for.
A VPN allows a user who is outside of a corporate network to take a detour around the firewall and access the internal network from the outside. Through a combination of software and security measures, this lets an organization allow limited access to its networks while at the same time ensuring overall security.