A Novel Multi-Stage Approach for Hierarchical Intrusion Detection

Miel Verkerken*, Laurens D'Hooge, Didik Sudyana, Ying Dar Lin, Tim Wauters, Bruno Volckaert, Filip De Turck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An intrusion detection system (IDS), traditionally an example of an effective security monitoring system, is facing significant challenges due to the ongoing digitization of our modern society. The growing number and variety of connected devices are not only causing a continuous emergence of new threats that are not recognized by existing systems, but the amount of data to be monitored is also exceeding the capabilities of a single system. This raises the need for a scalable IDS capable of detecting unknown, zero-day, attacks. In this paper, a novel multi-stage approach for hierarchical intrusion detection is proposed. The proposed approach is validated on the public benchmark datasets, CIC-IDS-2017 and CSE-CIC-IDS-2018. Results demonstrate that our proposed approach besides effective and robust zero-day detection, outperforms both the baseline and existing approaches, achieving high classification performance, up to 96% balanced accuracy. Additionally, the proposed approach is easily adaptable without any retraining and takes advantage of n-tier deployments to reduce bandwidth and computational requirements while preserving privacy constraints. The best-performing models with a balanced set of thresholds correctly classified 87% or 41 out of 47 zero-day attacks, while reducing the bandwidth requirements up to 69%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3915-3929
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Intrusion detection
  • binary classification
  • hierarchical architecture
  • multi-class classification
  • multi-stage detection


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