Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System

What Does Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System Mean?

A host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS) is a system or a program employed to protect critical computer systems containing crucial data against viruses and other Internet malware. Starting from the network layer all the way up to the application layer, HIPS protects from known and unknown malicious attacks. HIPS regularly checks the characteristics of a single host and the various events that occur within the host for suspicious activities.


HIPS can be implemented on various types of machines, including servers, workstations, and computers.

Techopedia Explains Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System

A HIPS uses a database of system objects monitored to identify intrusions by analyzing system calls, application logs, and file-system modifications (binaries, password files, capability databases, and access control lists). For every object in question, the HIPS remembers each object’s attributes and creates a checksum for the contents. This information gets stored in a secure database for later comparison.

The system also checks whether appropriate regions of memory have not been modified. Generally, it does not use virus patterns to detect malicious software but rather keeps a list of trusted programs. A program that oversteps its permissions is blocked from carrying out unapproved actions.

A HIPS has numerous advantages. First and foremost, enterprise and home users have increased protection from unknown malicious attacks. HIPS uses a peculiar prevention system that has a better chance of stopping such attacks as compared to traditional protective measures. Another benefit of using such system is the need to run and manage multiple security applications to protect PCs, such as anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewalls.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…