Ingress traffic pertains to all network traffic and data that come from outside a local network and is expected to land on a specific location within it. It is initiated from a remote location or within a network but outside a subnetwork. An example of such is an email message from an external source. It will pass through the Internet and enter the local area network (LAN) before it reaches the recipient’s inbox.

You can think of ingress traffic as an incoming international flight arriving at a local airport. The plane would pass through a runway, land at a designated ramp, and only then can the passengers head to where they are going.

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What Is the Difference between Ingress and Egress Traffic?

If ingress traffic includes all incoming communication to a local network, egress traffic is the complete opposite. It pertains to all traffic that goes out of an internal network to an external infrastructure. 

What Does Ingress Traffic Mean for Cloud Services?

Since most organizations rely on the cloud for storage, it is crucial to identify ingress traffic going to cloud servers and data centers. In the cloud, ingress traffic assumes an entirely different definition.

Ingress traffic refers to all unsolicited traffic originating from a public Internet Protocol (IP) address toward a private network. Contrary to its definition within a private network, it is not a response to an internal network request. As such, requests for ingress traffic are automatically denied by a firewall unless it contains a specific configuration that would allow ingress connectivity.

In a way, ingress traffic filtering serves as a security measure against cyber threats such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that use IP spoofing. Without ingress traffic filtering, cyberattacks can impede a cloud service’s performance or, worse, lead to a system crash.

How Do You Ensure Ingress Traffic Security?

By default, all ingress traffic is automatically blocked by firewalls. Each virtual private cloud (VPC) would need to define routes and configurations to enable ingress traffic to proceed. The ideal method to ensure security is to make sure all ingress traffic comes from private IP addresses.

For Amazon Web Services (AWS) users, a solution can be using AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect against common cyber threats and AWS Shield to protect against DDoS attacks. Users can also take advantage of Amazon VPC Ingress Routing to simplify network and security integration within their infrastructure. With it, they can quickly set up routing rules to redirect ingress traffic to a third-party provider before going to the intended recipient. Using next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) is highly recommended for deep packet inspection (i.e., when network traffic needs further examination.)

Ingress traffic refers to incoming traffic that enters your local network. As such, it is crucial to ensure that it is safe and does not bring any threat that can damage the most sensitive systems within your network.