A system, method and computer program product for automatic response to computer system misuse using active response modules (ARMs). ARMs are tools that allow static intrusion detection system applications the ability to dynamically increase security levels by allowing real-time responses to detected instances of computer misuse. Several classes of ARMs exist which allow them to interface with several types of network elements found within a computing environment (e.g., firewalls, web servers, Kerberos severs, certificate authorities, etc.). The ARMs, once defined, are deployed in a “plug and play” manner into an existing intrusion detection system within a computing environment. A user (e.g., system administrator) may then configure the ARMs by linking them to specific computer misuses. Upon receipt of an instance of the computer misuse from the intrusion detection system, each ARM linked to the misuse collects pertinent data from the intrusion detection system and invokes a response specified by the ARM class and the collected pertinent data.