November 02, 2022
4 Essential Benefits of Network Monitoring Solutions
Network visibility enhances security, performance and planning while reducing the workload on IT staffers.
When it comes to the network, visibility equals security: You can’t control what you can’t see. A holistic, centralized view lets organizations map their entire networks, from endpoints to applications, thereby improving security and performance. As organizations build a layered defense through various security solutions, a network monitoring platform can be the key to centralized visibility.
Here’s how a network monitoring solution can help organizations detect threats early, prioritize security alerts and plan for future network investments.
Get a Complete Picture of Everything on the Network
Centralized network monitoring enables an organization to discover everything that’s on the network and then use that information to create an inventory and a topography map. Once you can visualize everything you have, you can better understand what your attack surface is and what you need to protect.
Ongoing monitoring is essential as the network grows, especially when it comes to shadow IT. It’s not unusual for someone to attach a server to a network that’s not adequately protected, with the IT department being completely unaware. Having the capability to discover vulnerabilities, such as a server running software that is not approved or secure, is extremely important. Leaving such assets unprotected is practically inviting a breach.
Close the Gaps of Existing Security Tools
Anti-virus, anti-malware and similar tools protect against known threats and vulnerabilities, but they can’t block or mitigate against zero-day attacks that haven’t yet been defined. Network monitoring addresses this concern by discovering the network, mapping it and monitoring network-related assets to detect anomalies that could indicate a problem.
Early detection of abnormal network behavior gives an organization a much better chance to fix issues quickly. An overloaded server might indicate cryptojacking or a distributed denial of service attack. Whatever the cause might be, IT teams must be able to detect unusual behavior and pinpoint its location. That’s difficult, if not impossible, if they lack comprehensive visibility across the network.
Reduce Alert Overload and Prioritize Alerts for Faster Resolution
Network monitoring solutions also help IT staffers prioritize alerts and speed up resolution. As organizations have expanded their security solutions, they’ve also increased the number of alerts they get. Identifying the most important issues can quickly become a needle-in-a-haystack situation, consuming IT resources and making it tough to prioritize the fixes that matter most.
Network monitoring simplifies that process by using the topographic map to reveal dependencies. For instance, if a problem with a cloud service occurs on a network that has numerous dependencies, IT staffers may receive 100 alerts for that one problem. With a topographic map, however, they can see those dependencies. Instead of looking at every alert, they can go straight to the culprit.
Monitor Traffic and Bandwidth for Better Performance and Planning
Monitoring a network for traffic and bandwidth helps organizations detect unusual spikes that could indicate a security issue. It can also shed light on performance problems. In the latter case, the network monitoring solution can be a valuable planning tool as the organization looks toward future network updates.
Robust data about network activity also helps IT leaders support budget requests. Having users complain about connectivity issues is one thing, but having data about network performance and its impact on end-user productivity can be even more convincing.
Network monitoring solutions have become an integral component of a defense-in-depth strategy, augmenting existing tools to provide holistic, timely protection against attacks.
Story by Doug Barney