What is the difference between HIDS and NIDS?

HIDS vs NIDS is not another comparison to incline which one is better than the other. Both IDS are useful components that are often implemented together to add a layered approach to security management. Even though host-based intrusion detection systems are essential to ensure a reliable defence line to fight security attacks and malicious threats, they are not the sole means of guarding your assets (especially hosts). An added intrusion detection system, known as the Network-based intrusion detection systems, or NIDS, provides network-level protection targeting incoming and outgoing internet traffic.


Let’s understand the difference between the two.

HIDS monitors the traffic and keeps track of any suspicious actions on the particular host (an endpoint) installed. Unlike NIDS, HIDS are more informed of incoming security attacks due to system file and integrity monitoring functionality, keeping an eye on the system files and processes targeted by attacks.

On the contrary, NIDS monitors network traffic and events. Both HIDS and NIDS operate by surveying the log files and event information generated by the system. However, NIDS also analyses packet data as and when data travels through a network. Both the kinds of intrusion detection systems are diverse as NIDS operate majorly in real-time, tracing live data for tampering signs. At the same time, HIDS analysis logged records for proof of malicious events.