RangerIDS - Intrusion Detection System (IDS)



Network Node IDS (NNIDS)


The Network Node IDS (NNIDS) is a type of “hybrid” IDS agent which overcomes some of the limitations of the network-based IDS.  


The NNIDS agent works in a similar manner to the network-based IDS in that it takes network packets and performs protocol analysis and/or compares them against signature database entries. However, this “micro agent” is only concerned with packets targeted at the network node on which it resides. Because it is installed within the protocol stack of the host, it is sometimes referred to as a Stack-based IDS


Rather confusingly, it is also occasionally referred to as “host-based”, but usually only by those who are looking at the industry purely from a Network IDS viewpoint. For the purposes of this report, Host IDS is concerned with monitoring of log files and behavioural analysis, whereas both Network and Network Node IDS are concerned with TCP analysis – the only difference is that one (NIDS) is running in promiscuous mode While the other (NNIDS) is not. 


The fact that the NNIDS system is no longer expected to examine every single packet on the wire, however, means that it can be much faster and take less system resources, and this allows it to be installed on existing servers without imposing too much overhead. It also makes it particularly suitable for heavily loaded segments, switched network environments, or VPN implementations with encrypted traffic on the wire – all areas where traditional network-based IDS’ have problems. 


Obviously it is necessary to install a number of these NNIDS agents – one for every server to be protected – and they will all have to report back to a central console.  


Many organizations may opt for a combination of the two – NNIDS on individual servers in switched server farms, and traditional NIDS on less heavily used segments, where a single IDS can protect a large number of hosts.