pfSense and the SNORT Intrusion Prevention System

In the modern business landscape, network security has become a critical aspect of an organization’s success. Cyber threats are continually evolving, posing significant risks to sensitive data, financial stability, and reputation. To combat these challenges, businesses must invest in robust and versatile security solutions. One such powerful combination is the utilization of Snort on pfSense.

Snort is a free Intrusinon Prevention System(IPS) that analyzes and prevents malicious traffic in and out of your network.

Simple firewalls won’t block all the bad traffic. An intrusion Prevention System will look at the traffic outbound from your workstations and block them from accessing machines on the internet associated with malware and ransomware. This protects you from infections via email or infected websites.

In this article, we will explore the business benefits of incorporating Snort, an open-source intrusion detection and prevention system, into the pfSense firewall platform.

Firewall vs. IPS


A firewall is a network security device placed at the perimeter of the corporate network. This is done so all the packets entering the network first go through the firewall. 


IPS stands for Intrusion Detection and Prevention System. As the name suggests, it detects malicious packets, sends info to SIEM and blocks the packet. Unlike IDS, which just detects and reports the packet, IPS attempts to block the packets as well. Thus, IPS is a bit advanced and is more effective than IDS.

Enhanced Network Protection

Snort is renowned for its capabilities in detecting and preventing various types of cyber threats, including malware, viruses, worms, and suspicious network activities. By integrating Snort into the pfSense firewall, businesses can create a formidable barrier against external and internal security breaches. Snort’s real-time analysis of network traffic enables it to identify and block potentially harmful traffic before it can reach vulnerable systems, reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.

snort intrusion prevention system
cost effectiveness


Both Snort and pfSense are open-source solutions, which means businesses can deploy them without the burden of expensive licensing fees. This makes Snort on pfSense an attractive option for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited budgets. By choosing this combination, businesses can achieve robust network security at a fraction of the cost compared to proprietary security solutions.

Easy Integration and Management

One of the significant advantages of using Snort on pfSense is the seamless integration and centralized management it offers. PfSense’s user-friendly interface simplifies the installation and configuration of Snort, allowing even non-experts to set up and maintain the system efficiently. The centralized management feature of pfSense enables administrators to monitor network traffic and security alerts from a single console, streamlining security operations and reducing the workload for IT staff.

easy customization

Customizability and Flexibility

Snort’s rules-based detection system allows businesses to customize security policies based on their specific requirements and network environment. This flexibility empowers organizations to tailor their security measures, ensuring that the system adapts to new threats and vulnerabilities as they emerge. Additionally, Snort’s extensive community support and regular updates ensure that the system remains up-to-date with the latest threat intelligence.

In today’s highly regulated business landscape, organizations are required to comply with various industry-specific and government-mandated security standards.

By deploying Snort Intrusion Prevention System on pfSense, businesses can strengthen their security posture, thus aligning with regulatory requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Compliance not only reduces the risk of financial penalties but also enhances the organization’s reputation, which is crucial for maintaining customer trust.

Compliance and Risk Mitigation

improved network performance

Improved Network Performance

Contrary to misconceptions, deploying a powerful security solution like Snort on pfSense does not necessarily impede network performance. Snort’s efficient packet inspection and low resource utilization ensure that the system does not introduce significant latency or bottlenecks. Instead, it empowers businesses to strike the right balance between security and performance, ensuring optimal network operations without compromising protection.

An Intrusion Prevention System is no longer OPTIONAL

Integrating Snort into the pfSense firewall platform offers numerous business benefits that bolster network security, protect sensitive data, and enhance overall performance.

By leveraging the combined strengths of Snort and pfSense, businesses can establish a robust and cost-effective security infrastructure, mitigating cyber threats and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, adopting such a comprehensive security solution becomes increasingly crucial for the long-term success and stability of any organization in the digital age.

Hire Us

We hope this article has been informative for you. Interon protects the data for many corporations, both large and small, and the economic and security benefits for our clients have been immense. If you would like to learn more or hire us to implement any or all of the technologies discussed feel free to call us or use our CONTACT US page to request more information!