Home : Technical Terms : IDS Definition

IDS

Stands for "Intrusion Detection System." An IDS monitors network traffic for suspicious activity. It may be comprised of hardware, software, or a combination of the two. IDSes are similar to firewalls, but are designed to monitor traffic that has entered a network, rather than preventing access to a network entirely. This allows IDSes to detect attacks that originate from within a network.

An intruder detection systems can be configured for either a network or a specific device. A network intrusion detection system (NIDS) monitors inbound and outbound traffic, as well as data transfers between systems within a network. NIDSes are often spread out across several different points in a network to make sure there a no loopholes where traffic may be unmonitored.

An IDS configured for a single device is called a host intrusion detection system, or HIDS. It monitors a single host for abnormal traffic patterns. For example, it may look for known viruses or malware in both inbound and outbound traffic. Some HIDSes even check packets for important system files to make sure they are not modified or deleted.

Both network and host IDSes are designed to detect intrusions and sound an alert. This alert may be sent to a network administrator or may be processed by an automated system. A system that automatically handles intrusion alerts is called a reactive IDS or an intrusion prevention system (IPS).

Updated: May 9, 2014

Cite this definition:

https://techterms.com/definition/ids

TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definiton of IDS. It explains in computing terminology what IDS means and is one of many technical terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this IDS definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!