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What’s NisSrv.exe (Microsoft Network Realtime Inspection Service)? Is it safe or a virus?

We at SpyShelter know that monitoring the network for threats can be important, and that's what Microsoft's NisSrv.exe does for all Windows users. This important security feature, also known as the "Network Realtime Inspection Service" is built-in to Windows Security (formerly known as Defender).

From what we've read about this process it appears NisSrv.exe can quickly help, in case a new type of network exploit is discovered. If NisSrv.exe picks up a new type of network-based exploit, it can quickly add protection for Windows Security users, before a security patch can be put in place.

We recommend using Windows Security (Defender) with our SpyShelter antispyware software, and NisSrv.exe is an important component of Windows Security. Especially since SpyShelter has no network monitoring functionality.

Microsoft has also written about this common Windows executable NisSrv.exe. In an October 16, 2018 Blog post at Microsoft.com, Yvette O'Meally wrote that "when a new zero-day unpatched vulnerability is widely found that affects Microsoft products, we can release a NIS signature to block that exploit on any machine with NIS enabled. This activates NIS to do synchronous inspection. After the vulnerability is patched, we can de-activate the signature, which ensures deterministic exploit coverage and performance control without leaving administrators and users wondering whether they are protected."

It sounds like NisSrv.exe is important to leave running on your PC, just make sure it's signed by Microsoft and you should be safe!

(Researched by Jon @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about NisSrv.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes NisSrv.exe (Microsoft Network Realtime Inspection Service)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows Publisher should be the publisher of NisSrv.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is NisSrv.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the NisSrv.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find NisSrv.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 3, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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