RangerIDS - Intrusion Detection System (IDS)



Traditional Host IDS (HIDS)


Host IDS (HIDS) products employ an agent that resides on each host to be monitored. The agent scrutinises event/system logs, kernel logs, critical system files and other auditable resources looking for unauthorised changes or suspicious patterns of activity. Whenever anything out of the ordinary is noticed, alerts or SNMP traps are raised automatically. 


For instance, a HIDS will monitor the Registry for unauthorised access, kernel logs to detect when inappropriate processes are initiated, or logins to take note of when an attempt is made to access an account with an incorrect password. If a login attempt fails too many times within a short time span the system may conclude that someone is trying to gain access illegally and an alarm can be raised. 


Traditional HIDS are very good at detecting insider threats and usually provide extensive damage assessment and data forensics. Bear in mind that the term “insider” does not always refer purely to your own employees. It is possible, for example, for an attacker to gain access to internal systems via a legitimate user name and account combination without having to run any exploit that is detectable by a Network IDS product – perhaps gaining access via social engineering. At that point, the attacker would have all the rights and privileges associated with that user, and is much harder to detect. 


Disadvantages of the HIDS approach are the need for agent deployment on key systems, and the requirement for close attention to audit policy. They can often be the most difficult of all Intrusion Detection Systems to configure.