Network monitoring is a process where networking elements, like routers, switches, firewalls, and servers are monitored for faulty performance. Some network monitoring systems are a simpler alert system, while others can have a much more graphical interface. While basic monitoring systems rely on an administrator to review results and act, there are also automated systems that handle issues on their own. On average, there are 30,000 network attacks every day, and over 60 percent of companies worldwide have experienced at least some form of cyber-attack[i]. Having a network monitoring system is a universal practice within the IT industry and is imperative to network performance and safety.
Everyday federal agencies are providing critical services involving sensitive information including financial support, protection, and information safeguarding to support citizens across the nation. Network monitoring is vital to ensuring the protection of these services, processes, and information.
How Do We Ensure That Networks and Information Are Protected?
Proactive Network Monitoring
Performance issues from faulty network devices can be eradicated when these issues are detected early. This early detection is ensured when monitoring is consistent and continuous—which makes sense. More frequent monitoring means more correction and efficiency.
To set up network monitoring software, the administrator should identify the device or devices that need to be monitored, as well as determine the interval in which the devices are being monitored. Unlike desktops and printers, networking components such as servers, routers, and switches should be monitored frequently.
One network failure is downtime, when a network device is unavailable for use altogether. You know, like when you go to load something, and the page just stays blank or gives you the pinwheel of death? This is often due to the absence, or the poor use, of proactivity in network monitoring. For this reason, interval settings play a great role in effective network monitoring, even though threshold limits might very from device to device based on user needs or preferences. In addition, network monitoring alerts are set to give warning before the device reaches a critical stage.
Some key points to be proactive:
- Set up an automatic network problem discovery. Automatic detecting is likely to detect more issues.
- Get real-time alerts, so that no time is wasted when there has been a breach or an attack. This can even help out-of-office attacks and allows your team to know where and when an issue has occurred.
- Scout for current threats in your network. There is a chance your network might already have hidden malware. Proactivity means being thorough to rid any potential threats in your system.
A common network protocol is a Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP. This protocol, and others like it, are purposefully non-consuming in terms of bandwidth usage, and most of the networking elements come bundled with the agent. With a system like this, the administrator or IT team can control the network by setting reading and writing authorization and restricting control for other users.
The Bottom Line…
Having a network monitoring system is necessary to combat performance issues. There is a wide variety of available solutions, the most effective being one that contains a built-in network monitoring tool that can administer basic troubleshooting. Especially in the federal sector, unexpected issues can completely derail projects and endanger important information.
Network assessment is fundamental in modifying an IT infrastructure’s posture toward business goals. Applying a network monitoring system will help those goals to be reached.
[i] Bulao, Jacquelyn. “How Many Cyber Attacks Happen Per Day? .” TechJury, TechJury, 17 June 2021, techjury.net/blog/how-many-cyber-attacks-per-day.