Host-based Intrusion Prevention System

Learn about the host-based intrusion prevention system's (HIPS) role in detecting and potentially preventing security threats in an organization.


An easy way to think about a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) is HIDS but weaponized. Instead of merely detecting malicious activity on a device, HIPS can also prevent that activity. HIPS offers not just detective control but protective control as well.

False positives

With the additional ability to block actions, HIPS could mistakenly identify benign activities as malicious and take action. These are known as false positives. Therefore, we should be confident in our protection software before we allow it to take these actions autonomously.

A catastrophic example

There are many examples of legitimate changes, such as installing misidentified patches, that resulted in catastrophic events. Take the Windows blue screen of death (BSOD), for example, which quickly spread across enterprises like wildfire. This errant patch had to be quickly rolled back and caused Microsoft some embarrassment for having failed to test the patch more thoroughly. This also provided a valuable lesson. Best intentions aside, any change runs the risk of breaking something.

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