Good security is not achieved without vigilance, and the world of cybersecurity is no different. Network monitoring is one of the best ways to employ that vigilance, which is why so many organizations do so. In case you don’t know, network monitoring is simply the practice of monitoring all data flow on your network and is used to prevent problems (or react to them more quickly). If you or your organization handles a lot of secure data, it is essential that you use this technology to mitigate those risks.
What Makes Network Security Monitoring Different?
Network security monitoring is distinctly different from normal network monitoring, but it isn’t really that different. The main difference is that network security monitoring focuses primarily on security. A lot of network monitoring tools out there are focused on detecting and eliminating performance issues, data overflow, and other general network problems. However, network security monitoring offers a whole lot more protection. Not only will it monitor your network, but it will also take certain automated actions to close off the common pathways of attack.
Reason #1: Cyber-Threat Response Time Is Greatly Reduced
Most hackers count on their targets to be unwary and unprotected. In fact, many of them seem to seek out easy targets that aren’t watching their network closely enough. Like any criminal, they are out for an easy mark, so all you have to do is make sure that you aren’t one. Network security monitoring can go a long way toward that goal.
Network security monitoring allows you to greatly decrease your response time in the event that some sort of hacker tries to intrude. There are many cases in which organizations did not know they had been hacked for months, and these situations could easily have been avoided. Proper security-oriented monitoring will alert the relevant people when any threat is encountered, allowing for immediate action to be taken. It may give a false alarm from time to time, but that’s a small price to pay.
Reason #2: Subtle Threats Are Detected More Easily
Some types of malware make themselves obvious, while others are a little more subtle. For instance, a ransomware attack locks up the entire device, displaying only a ransom note, which is pretty obvious. On the other hand, there are things like botnets and bandwidth hijacking, which are far more difficult to find. They might slow things down somewhat, but that is often the only sign of such an infection.
Good network security monitoring software will keep an eye on the bandwidth usage and alert you to any abnormal patterns. This is important because there are many types of cyber-attack that involve the theft of your computer’s bandwidth. Hackers might use that bandwidth to run a botnet and infect other machines, or they may even use it to mine cryptocurrency. These activities may or may not directly harm your device, but they will definitely cause it to run a lot more slowly. Unless you feel like keeping a constant eye on your network usage monitor, your security software must be able to detect these things automatically.
Reason #3: Security Testing Becomes Easier
You might be surprised to know how much can be done from a “settings” menu. The configurations that are created there have a lot to do with your security level, so you always want to keep things optimal. Any change in your network settings can compromise your ability to communicate securely, but that creates a problem. There will be times when you have to change those network settings, and that’s where large security gaps can end up being opened.
When you use network security monitoring software, you can tweak those settings with a lot less worry. Once you have configured things to your liking, you can use your software to test the network and see if it is still secure. Most software of this kind will have a scanning tool that looks for known vulnerabilities, and that feature will be very helpful here. You just have to make sure that you run a new scan every time settings are changed. For good measure, you may even want to run that scan twice.
Reason #4: Network Security Monitoring Software Can Detect New Threats
With any kind of network security software, one of the most frequent problems is an inability to detect new threats. For instance, firewalls do a great job of blocking connections to anything that is known to be suspicious. Unfortunately, it does nothing to protect against the unknown. These days, the cybersecurity landscape changes almost daily, so you need an intelligent tool that doesn’t rely on a list of known threats.
This kind of software doesn’t just look for known red flags. Instead, it looks for suspicious activity of any kind and reports it back to the user. It is very hard for someone to hack you without leaving some sign of their presence. Whether it’s a reduced bandwidth, a connection to a suspicious server, or an attempt at phishing the system, there will always be some sign. By looking for non-specific patterns, network security monitoring software can often detect new threats. This is especially important when it comes to “same-day” exploits.
There is no doubt that network monitoring is one of the best security measures that you can take for your network. When you go with a more security-minded product, you get even more for your money. These programs function a lot like guard dogs: They require some direction from you, but they are able to act independently when needed. Unlike traditional monitoring software, it doesn’t require constant monitoring, either. We hope that we have explained all of this to your satisfaction, but if not, you can always call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.