Fed-ANIDS: Federated learning for anomaly-based network intrusion detection systems


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Abstract: As computer networks and interconnected systems continue to gain widespread adoption, ensuring cybersecurity has become a prominent concern for organizations, regardless of their scale or size. Meanwhile, centralized machine learning-based Anomaly Detection (AD) methods have shown promising results in improving the accuracy and efficiency of Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS). However, new challenges arise such as privacy concerns and regulatory restrictions that must be tackled. Federated Learning (FL) has emerged as a solution that allows distributed clients to collaboratively train a shared model while preserving the privacy of their local data. In this paper, we propose Fed-ANIDS, a NIDS that leverages AD and FL to address the privacy concerns associated with centralized models. To detect intrusions, we compute an intrusion score based on the reconstruction error of normal traffic using various AD models, including simple autoencoders, variational autoencoders, and adversarial autoencoders. We thoroughly evaluate Fed-ANIDS using various settings and popular datasets, including USTC-TFC2016, CIC-IDS2017, and CSE-CIC-IDS2018. The proposed method demonstrates its effectiveness by achieving high performance in terms of different metrics while preserving the data privacy of distributed clients. Our findings highlight that autoencoder-based models outperform other generative adversarial network-based models, achieving high detection accuracy coupled with fewer false alarms. In addition, the FL framework (FedProx), which is a generalization and re-parametrization of the standard method for FL (FedAvg), achieves better results.

Recommended citation: Meryem Janati Idrissi, Hamza Alami, Abdelkader El Mahdaouy, Abdellah El Mekki, Soufiane Oualil, Zakaria Yartaoui, Ismail Berrada, Fed-ANIDS: Federated learning for anomaly-based network intrusion detection systems, Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 234, 2023, 121000, ISSN 0957-4174, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2023.121000.