Today’s computer users and organizations are constantly facing numerous, diverse, and super sophisticated malware, making cybersecurity researchers conclude that signature-based solutions are no longer able to work by themselves.

Viruses, worms, and trojans harm device systems and communication channels, steal private information, and keep users under surveillance. Not only that there are numerous new malware files daily, but some of them are also capable to modify their configuration and signature as they move forward.

Solutions such as Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) that examine internet traffic and internal network are accessible but they are limited due to the repeated employment of data encryption on the Web. Also, they can’t protect against menaces spread out from removable storage media.

A system that can avert assaults at the computer level is a more feasible solution because it can keep an eye on applications running on a particular PC and halt any unwelcomed activity. Here is where methods like Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) become operative.

What Is Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS)?

An abbreviation for Host-based Intrusion Prevention System, HIPS is an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) used to keep safe crucial computer systems holding important information against intrusions, infections, and other Internet malware.

HIPS surveil a single host for dubious activity by examining incidents happening within that specific host. To put it differently, a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) seeks to halt malware by monitoring the code’s way of behaving.

This helps to keep your system secure without having to rely on a specific threat to be added to a detection update. If a threat actor or virus tries to change the operating system, the host intrusion prevention system blocks the activity and notifies the potential victims so they can take proper action.

Some of the changes that HIPS might consider to be important are assuming command of other programs, attempting to change major registry keys, ending other programs, or installing devices.

Besides the action of sending notifications to the device user when it detects malicious movement, HIPS can also log the malicious activity for future investigation, reset the connection, and stop future traffic from the dubious IP address.

Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) successfully fights against:

  • Private information theft;
  • Dubious applications while it stops harmful actions;
  • Familiar threats, as it averts them from being initiated;
  • The latest threats before antivirus databases are updated while diminishes the probability of invasion and contamination being scattered.

Different types of devices such as servers, workstations, and computers can have the host intrusion prevention system implemented.

As studies have recently shown that unprotected systems can be compromised within minutes, the benefit of intrusion prevention is that there’s no more waiting for a security administrator to answer before prophylactic steps are taken to maintain host integrity. This approach can be very helpful when in need.

Usually, a host intrusion prevention system is both signature and anomaly-based.

An anomaly-based HIPS tries to differentiate normal from atypical behavior, unlike signature based-systems that have the capability to protect against only familiar bad signatures.

Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) Operation Mode

A host intrusion prevention system utilizes a database of systems items supervised to discover intrusions by investigating system calls, application logs, and file-system changes.

HIPS recall every item’s features and generate a numerical value calculated from a series of bits of digital data used to test whether the data has changed during storage or transmission for the contents.

The system also verifies if suitable parts of memory have not been altered. A program that ignores its permissions is blocked from performing unauthorized actions.

A HIPS has many advantages, the most important one being that business and home users have intensified defense from hidden malicious cyber assaults.

Host Intrusion Prevention HIPS utilizes an unusual prevention system that has a better chance of halting such attacks in contrast to conventional protective actions.

One more advantage of using HIPS is the necessity to manage numerous security applications to secure computers, including antivirus, anti-spyware, firewalls, and patch management.

Now that we talked about the benefits, let’s take a quick look at the disadvantage of HIPS. A drawback would be that the response taken may leave the host ineffective or even affect the availability of a vital resource. Incorrect user decisions and false positives are also menaces linked to host intrusion prevention systems.

General Device Configuration For Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) Protection

Before managed devices can be protected from zero-day attacks, they must have the Endpoint Security agent installed.

The Endpoint Security agent is a single agent service that manages all of the Endpoint Security components, including HIPS.

Machines can be configured for HIPS either during initial device agent configuration or with a separate installation or update task.

Steps to follow when installing or updating HIPS on managed devices via an agent configuration

  • In the dashboard, click Tools > Configuration > Agent Configuration;
  • Click the New Windowstoolbar button;
  • After naming the settings you want for the agent configuration, you need to click the Startpage, and choose the Endpoint Security option under Security;
  • Now you can access the options on the Endpoint Security;
  • Pick one of the settings from the available list to apply it to the agent configuration you’re creating. You can create new settings or adapt existing settings by clicking Configure;
  • Finish specifying settings for the agent configuration and then click Save.

Steps to follow when installing or updating HIPS as a separate task

  • In the dashboard, click Tools > Security > Security Configurations;
  • Click the Create a task toolbar button, and then click Install/Update security components;
  • Select a name for the task;
  • State whether the installation is a scheduled task or a policy-based task, or both;
  • Select an Endpoint Security setting from the available list to apply it to the agent configuration you’re creating. You can create new settings or edit existing settings by clicking Configure;
  • If you want to display the installation progress in the security scanner dialog on targeted devices, select the Show progress dialog on the client option;
  • Select a Scan and repair setting from the list to apply its reboot configuration (only) to the agent configuration you’re creating. You can create new settings or edit existing settings by clicking Configure;
  • Click OK.

Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) can be an extremely important component of stratified protection if combined with a minimum of one detection-based security solution. Users and organizations should definitely benefit from HIPS, but it is essential to have some knowledge of how to use it successfully.

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