The True Value of Network Security Monitoring: What You Should Know

One of the easiest ways to keep your network secure is to know your system from the inside all the way to the outside. Network security monitoring could be done in numerous ways, but it all boils down to being conversant with everything that is happening in your network. Modern-day network threats are so advanced that they are specifically meant to bypass all firewalls and any intrusion detection systems, and they could easily kill your network’s defense system in just a few minutes. So, how do you tackle these network threats? Network security monitoring is the easiest way to curb these threats.

What is Network Security Monitoring?

In simple terms, network security monitoring refers to a service from Path which monitors your network (devices and traffic) for any vulnerabilities, security threats, as well as suspicious behavior. This is usually an automated process that gathers and analyzes numerous indicators of potential threats in real time. Network security monitoring informs you about these threats so that you can take the necessary action to have them resolved.

Since it is continuous and automated, network security monitoring is a crucial tool for fast detection as well as response to network threats. More so, quick response time is essential when dealing with security threats.

Why is Network Monitoring Important?

With the modern-day threat landscape, there is a high demand for this kind of security monitoring since many businesses want protection against zero-day threats, ransomware as well as other malicious attacks. The advantage of network security monitoring is that there are numerous cases which could have a dramatic effect on network security when properly used. In fact, most of the network engineers say that network security monitoring is used for proactive querying of a network that is hunting for suspicious behavior. Many organizations are now investing a lot of money in hunting capabilities. You will need those clues from your system to have a better idea of where your network traffic is flowing, from what specific devices and to what external IP addresses. Could there be anything unusual about this traffic? Can you correlate or relate those responses to what is already happening in the world of threat intelligence?

With network security monitoring, there is a rich repository of information on what people are doing, and from that basis, you could easily determine what is normal and what seems abnormal. And with the right personnel or tools in place, you could delve further into investigating the unusual behavior or fixing problems.

Challenges to Successful Network Security Monitoring

Network security monitoring is not a walk in the park, and many network engineers can attest to the fact that it is ridden with challenges. In fact, most of the companies employing network monitoring claim that it has become more difficult than ever before. The difficulty in network security monitoring has been attributed to the increase in malware volume, and other companies say that an increase in network traffic has made monitoring extremely difficult.

Another challenge to successful network security monitoring is the inability to gain comprehensive visibility. A majority of organizations running large networks indicate that at one point, they have had one or numerous network blind spots. This means that while an organization could monitor their network traffic effectively, there are specific areas of a network or particular workloads which they cannot have their eye on or do not see well. With such a scenario, it is difficult for network monitors to have an end-to-end view of their network as well as every aspect of its security.

With the magnitude of threats in the modern-day networking landscape, security monitoring should be a combined effort among different departments. In most cases, however, there are usually process, and communication issues between network operations and cybersecurity teams and this has presented an enormous challenge in attempts to monitor networks. Many organizations leave network security to a specific department instead of having it as a cooperative endeavor between network ops and security. This means that both teams should ensure they are using the right tools to monitor as well as fix any network issues, using the proper communication channels to report any threats, and collaborating well in all processes.

Another challenge to successful network security monitoring is the inability to collect the appropriate data when it is needed most. In most cases, threat intelligence, as well as network security data, is all about the timing and so if you want to detect things quickly, you will require timely data. Sometimes you could be relying on sampling data, at other times there are not the right sensors in their appropriate places, and sometimes you just don’t know what to look for. With proper network security data collection, it is possible to identify the threats before they occur and mitigate their effects before they affect your network.

Is Network Security Monitoring Worth It?

According to networking experts, no single tool should be used as the entirety of any cybersecurity plan. Network security threats usually emanate from numerous vectors that a single device cannot have its eyes in all directions and no single individual can stay at the top of network security for long. With network security monitoring, you get not only an in-depth surveillance of your network but also constant vigilance on your network traffic, what is coming into the system and what is leaving, and what is on your company’s networked devices. Paired with expert consultation as well as other security tools, security monitoring provides a considerable boost to your network’s defense.

It is also important to bear in mind that network security is not an 8 am to 5 pm operation. With network security monitoring, it is possible to have 24/7 watchfulness on your network and a team of networking experts when you need them.

So the question remains, is it worth implementing network security monitoring? The truth is that it is worth it, irrespective of the size of the business. You will get alerts, assistance with all incident responses, reporting as well as regulatory compliance. Generally, it could minimize your exposure to network security breaches which could result in reputational, financial, and legal penalties.

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