The Importance of Improving Network Security Visibility

Today’s digital landscape has changed the way we see and deal with network security. From data breaches to security attacks, cybercrime will cost the world nearly $6 trillion annually. Companies today rely more than ever on Internet-connected devices, services and data. Unfortunately, this also increases threat vulnerability in networks. So, what can organizations do to safeguard their networks? There is no one-size fits all solution to ensure 100% network security, but there are preventative measures and approaches one can take to improve the security of their networks.

Network operators need to have a realistic approach with respect to their existing network security tools. Companies that invest solely in security tools without considering the right network performance monitoring tools will fall short of reaching their main goal: ensuring complete network security coverage. Secondly, without ongoing communication between network security teams (SecOps) and network operations teams (NetOps) there is a misalignment between security and what occurs in the rest of the organization. Companies that focus on aligning these two teams will be in a far better position to gain a competitive edge versus those who remain siloed.

Top network security challenges facing today’s organizations                   

  1. Reduced network visibility: at a minimum, every company should take the fundamental steps to ensure their networks are protected. However, as security attacks become more advanced, they can go undetected for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, by the time these threats have been identified, the damage has already been done. Limited network visibility prevents NetOps and SecOps from proactively identifying and mitigating these threats. Furthermore, without relevant KPI metrics, NetOps and SecOps have no way of detecting what is happening in the network.
  2. Lack of monitoring points: today’s traditional architectures aren’t designed to handle the growth in network traffic. Oftentimes, companies invest in TAP/aggregator solutions which are very costly and still don’t provide the accuracy and scalability needed for today’s network environments. For instance, when traffic growth occurs, there is an increase in port usage which may overwhelm the aggregators causing packets to drop. This can result in serious repercussions from a security standpoint because without adequate network visibility, NetOps and SecOps lack the relevant information they need to remedy any security issue in the network.

How cPacket is helping organizations prepare for next generation IT threats

To keep pace with business demands and today’s evolving IT landscape, companies require a well-designed architecture that can deliver accuracy and performance. This becomes increasingly important since security threats are on the rise and companies need to safeguard their data. cPacket’s network performance monitoring (NPM) tools are equipped with all the features users need to improve network visibility and enhance network security.

Capture all the data in one dashboard

Advanced threat detection that combines real-time monitoring, detection, and full analysis of network traffic gives companies the tools they need to be more efficient and effective in threat identification. Rather than have NetOps and SecOps spend a great deal of time trying to determine the root cause of the problem, cPacket’s network monitoring tools allow for always-on monitoring to alert security teams of any anomalous behavior in the network and to mitigate these issues before they occur. cPacket’s cClear, the visualization dashboard, collects and correlates the data from the cStor to provide relevant metrics and KPIs in a simple, easy to use dashboard (see Figure 1 below). Furthermore, alerts are immediately sent to the user if any anomalous activity is detected. Having this enhanced awareness allows NetOps and SecOps to be proactive rather than reactive to what’s happening in the network.

Figure 1: cClear dashboard displaying Security KPIs

More monitoring points=better visibility

As mentioned above, traditional monitoring architectures are plagued with bottlenecks which reduce network visibility and scalability. cPacket’s solutions are equipped with more monitoring points which improve visibility by removing blindspots. From a security perspective, this is especially important since network events can be spurious and go undetected which can result in bigger problems down the road. If you take a close look at cPacket’s network layer diagram, you will see cVu network probes (1G-100G, 24/32 ports) and cStor (64TB storage and analysis) devices deployed at critical monitoring points in the network. These are managed by cClear which collects and correlates valuable KPIs without the need to transport network traffic to a central analyzer. The ability to monitor traffic at key points in the network also serves as an invaluable troubleshooting tool for security teams.

We live in a connected world today where nearly everything a company does is virtualized, mobilized, and driven to the cloud. Consequently, this makes our data more difficult to secure. The NPM tools a company selects to protect their networks should be an integrated set of solutions that prioritize security, performance, and advanced visibility. Organizations that adopt this approach will benefit from reduced costs, a safer network environment, and gain a competitive advantage.