Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Examples: 3 Key Systems

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Examples: 3 Worst Attacks

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Examples

Imagine a bustling city center during rush hour, and the city’s traffic system is working tirelessly to keep everything moving smoothly. Now, picture the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) as the traffic control tower of your network, always working to prevent collisions, detour intrusions, and maintain optimal traffic flow.


An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a network security tool designed to detect and prevent threats, such as hackers and malware, from compromising a computer system or network.

Example 1: Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) – 2014. Cisco is a renowned name in the network security sector. Their Firepower NGIPS set a precedent by not just detecting and blocking threats, but also providing contextual awareness. This tool was engineered to provide information about the user, the device, the software, the location, the vulnerability, the threat, and the network behavior – a comprehensive solution to maintain network integrity.

Example 2: McAfee Network Security Platform – 2016. This IPS system introduced a unique approach called “targeted threat detections”. Instead of focusing solely on known malware signatures, McAfee’s system examined how potential intruders interacted with their targets, thus, detecting even previously unknown threats.

Example 3: Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System – 2018. Darktrace brought an AI-based approach to IPS. Using machine learning and AI algorithms, this system learns “normal” network behavior and detects deviations, identifying potential intrusions. Darktrace’s solution provides a more dynamic, adaptive approach to the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Examples In-Depth

Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) – 2014

Imagine stepping into a buzzing city, filled with a mix of locals, tourists, and the occasional troublemaker. Now, what if you had a superpower, a sixth sense that could not only tell you who was who but also predict who might stir up trouble before anything happened? That’s precisely what Cisco brought to our digital world in 2014 with their Firepower Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS).

Like a technological superhero, Cisco’s Firepower NGIPS acts as the sixth sense for your network. But instead of identifying friendly locals and mischievous tourists, it distinguishes between legitimate users, harmless data, and potential threats. It’s always on the lookout, and when it comes across anything suspicious, it doesn’t just block the threat. It goes a step further, understanding who the intruder is, what device they are using, what software they are exploiting, their location, their goal, and how they are interacting with the network.

This robust system gives you a full story, providing context to every potential threat. Picture yourself as a detective on a crime scene. The Firepower NGIPS doesn’t just point out the culprit; it presents you the entire plot, explaining the who, what, where, why, and how of each cyber threat. This wealth of information is like having a detailed roadmap that helps you prevent future intrusions, bolstering your cyber defenses.

But, what makes Cisco’s Firepower NGIPS truly special is its adaptability. It understands that the digital landscape isn’t a static place; it’s continuously changing. So, it constantly learns, adapts, and evolves, staying ahead of new strategies that cybercriminals might employ.

So, here’s to Cisco’s Firepower Next-Generation IPS, the unblinking sentinel, watching over your networks, day and night. Just like the vigilant guards who protect our cities, it works tirelessly, ensuring our digital streets are safe from the threats that lurk in the shadows of the cyber world.

McAfee Network Security Platform – 2016

Picture yourself attending a masquerade ball. The beauty and charm of these events often lie in the mystery behind the masks. But there’s always a chance that someone might use their mask not just for fun, but for mischief. In 2016, McAfee Network Security Platform stepped onto the cybersecurity dance floor, ready to unmask any hidden threats in our digital masquerade.

Before 2016, many Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) were mostly reactive. They were like bouncers at the ball, tossing out guests whose masks matched the faces on the “do not admit” list. But McAfee decided to take a different approach. They introduced their Network Security Platform, a system designed to not just react but to proactively protect.

McAfee’s system didn’t just look for known masks or recognized faces of trouble. It observed the behavior and interaction of the guests. It could tell if someone was attempting to sneak into restricted areas or was engaging with others in suspicious ways. This innovative method is known as “targeted threat detections,” and it changed the game for network security.

Let’s dive a little deeper into how this works. Imagine you’re a detective trying to catch a notorious but unknown criminal. Instead of just searching for faces you recognize, you analyze behavior, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Maybe someone is acting nervous, or perhaps they’re a bit too interested in the bank across the street. That’s what the McAfee Network Security Platform does; it detects strange behavior or interactions and identifies them as potential threats.

This level of proactive security provides an extra layer of protection. It allows the system to detect threats that have never been seen before, those that don’t match any known “masks”. And this isn’t just about stopping these threats; it’s about understanding them, learning from them, and using that knowledge to reinforce the network’s defenses.

So, next time you think of network security, remember the McAfee Network Security Platform, the keen-eyed observer at the masquerade ball, always watching and learning, ready to unmask any threat that dares to disrupt the dance.

Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System – 2018

Imagine your body’s immune system, an awe-inspiring defense mechanism that works silently and diligently, warding off invaders and ensuring your health. In the digital realm, Darktrace has developed something strikingly similar – the Enterprise Immune System. Launched in 2018, this cutting-edge system is our body’s immune system’s cyber-equivalent, relentlessly safeguarding our networks.

Just like how our immune system knows how each cell in our body should behave, Darktrace’s system learns what’s “normal” for each element in a network. It constantly monitors and understands regular patterns, traffic, user behavior, and system activities.

Now, let’s picture an alien life form trying to invade our body. Our immune system, recognizing this as foreign and potentially harmful, responds swiftly to eliminate the threat. In a similar vein, Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System detects any deviation from the “normal” network behavior, identifying it as a potential intrusion.

But how does Darktrace accomplish this? Here’s where things get even more interesting. They employ advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. Like a digital brain, the system learns, adapts, and gets smarter over time. It uses this knowledge to differentiate between benign anomalies and genuine threats, allowing it to react effectively without disrupting regular operations.

What truly sets Darktrace’s system apart is its proactive and autonomous response capability. Imagine our immune system waiting for a doctor’s command to act against an infection. Sounds absurd, right? That’s why Darktrace designed their system to react autonomously, sometimes in a fraction of a second, much faster than any human could.

This extraordinary combination of AI and machine learning provides a dynamic, adaptable defense mechanism. The digital world is not a static place; it’s evolving at a lightning-fast pace. And so are the threats that we face. That’s why systems like Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System, which learn and adapt just as quickly, are vital for our digital health and safety.

So, as you navigate through the digital universe, remember that there’s an AI sentinel standing guard, always learning, always adapting. It’s Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System, tirelessly defending our network galaxies from the ever-evolving cyber threats.


In our ever-evolving digital landscape, robust cybersecurity measures like Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) are not a luxury; they are a necessity. From Cisco’s Firepower Next-Generation IPS, which offers comprehensive context awareness, to McAfee’s Network Security Platform with its innovative targeted threat detection, and Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System, utilizing the power of AI and machine learning to learn and adapt, we’ve come a long way in protecting our networks. As we continue to stride into a future where our digital lives are increasingly intertwined with our physical ones, the guardians of our digital realm – these sophisticated IPS systems – are more critical than ever. Remember, it’s not just about detecting threats, but understanding and learning from them to build stronger, safer cyber fortresses.

How to stay safe online:

  • Practice Strong Password Hygiene: Use a unique and complex password for each account. A password manager can help generate and store them. In addition, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever available.
  • Invest in Your Safety: Buying the best antivirus for Windows 11 is key for your online security. A high-quality antivirus like Norton, McAfee, or Bitdefender will safeguard your PC from various online threats, including malware, ransomware, and spyware.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious when receiving suspicious communications that ask for personal information. Legitimate businesses will never ask for sensitive details via email or text. Before clicking on any links, ensure the sender's authenticity.
  • Stay Informed. We cover a wide range of cybersecurity topics on our blog. And there are several credible sources offering threat reports and recommendations, such as NIST, CISA, FBI, ENISA, Symantec, Verizon, Cisco, Crowdstrike, and many more.

Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

What is an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)?

An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a network security technology that inspects network traffic for malicious activity. It’s designed to detect and prevent threats such as hackers and malware from compromising a network or system.

How does an IPS work?

An IPS works by continuously monitoring your network, looking for potential threats, much like a security guard would monitor a property. It not only identifies threats but also takes immediate action to block them. Advanced IPSs can also learn from the attacks and adapt to improve their threat detection and prevention capabilities.

What's the difference between an IPS and a Firewall?

While both IPSs and Firewalls are designed to protect networks, they operate differently. A Firewall acts as a barrier, controlling the network traffic based on predefined security rules, similar to a physical wall or gate. On the other hand, an IPS monitors the traffic passing through the network, detecting and preventing potential threats in real-time, like a security guard patrolling inside the premises.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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