An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a device or software application that monitors network or system activities for malicious activities or policy violations and produces reports to a management station. IDS come in a variety of “flavors” and approach the goal of detecting suspicious traffic in different ways. There are network based (NIDS) and host based (HIDS) intrusion detection systems. Some systems may attempt to stop an intrusion attempt but this is neither required nor expected of a monitoring system.
Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) are primarily focused on identifying possible incidents, logging information about them, and reporting attempts. In addition, organizations use IDPSes for other purposes, such as identifying problems with security policies, documenting existing threats and deterring individuals from violating security policies. IDPSes have become a necessary addition to the security infrastructure of nearly every organization. An intrusion detection system (IDS) inspects all inbound and outbound network activity and identifies suspicious patterns that may indicate a network or system attack from someone attempting to break into or compromise a system.