Introduction to network-based intrusion detection systems
A network-based IDS (NIDS) monitors traffic at selected points on a network or interconnected set of networks. The NIDS examines the traffic packet by packet in real time, or close to real time, to attempt to detect intrusion patterns. The NIDS may examine network-, transport- and/or application-level protocol activity. Note the contrast with a host-based IDS; a NIDS examines packet traffic directed toward potentially vulnerable computer systems on a network. A host-based system examines user and software activity on a host.
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