WildPackets Launches 2nd Annual Trends in Network Forensics Survey

According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, cybercrime costs $375-$575 billion annually and last year caused a net loss of up to 200,000 jobs in the U.S. alone. Data breaches not only damage company performance and integrity, but also impair commerce, competitiveness, innovation and a nation’s overall business growth.

With network forensics–the comprehensive, high-speed capture and analysis of network traffic–IT organizations and in-house security teams gain access to in-depth analysis of network traffic. Security teams can use network forensics to more quickly investigate and stop security attacks by acting on hard evidence about who, what, where, and when.

In February 2014, WildPackets surveyed more than 250 network engineers and IT professionals to better understand the availability and use of network forensics solutions in the enterprise. The survey, Trends in Network Forensics, revealed how many organizations have a network forensics solution in place as well as how organizations are using their network forensics solutions and its benefits.

A year has passed, and thanks to a series of highly publicized data breaches, including the Target and Anthem breaches, security is more than ever on IT organizations’ minds.

This month, WildPackets is kicking off the second annual network forensics survey to better understand how enterprises are using network forensics for security investigations and other IT operations. You can help shape the direction of network forensics in 2015 by participating in our survey. As a thank you, you will automatically have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

This short survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete. All data is completely anonymous. In order to get accurate results, we need a large sample of respondents across the community. The survey will be running through the month of February so don’t wait!

Survey URL: http://svy.mk/1zXwsou

Intermittent VoIP Issues Are a Big Deal to Customers

If during a VoIP call between two of your employees, the quality of the call begins to erode and jitter becomes a nuisance, your workers may simply shrug it off and wait until the problem passes. Even if a VoIP communication is dropped completely, the two employees are likely simply to reconnect and continue the conversation as if nothing much had happened.

Workers who spend five days a week together and have personal relationships with each other aren’t likely to get bent out of shape because of intermittent call difficulties. Customers, however, are a different story.

What effect do you think it would have on your relationship with a customer if after taking the time to reach out to your organization, his or her call was dropped 75 percent of the way through the interaction with one of your customer service agents? Probably the customer’s frustration in the face of having to call again—starting at the bottom of the queue—would prevent a callback from taking place and the customer’s issue from ever being resolved satisfactorily.

Your problems may actually go deeper than that, however, as recent research from New Voice Media found that 58 percent of Americans would never use a company again after a single negative customer experience.

So, how do you ensure top-notch call VoIP quality that helps keep your customers loyal? A network monitoring solution that includes tools for VoIP monitoring and analysis is a perfect place to start. Such a product can drill down specifically on VoIP calls to determine what may be causing intermittent issues and how different kinds of traffic are impacting each other. With this information, engineers can solve problems quickly as they pop up and make adjustments to avoid similar difficulties in the future.

So, put yourself in your customers’ shoes—what kind of call experiences are they getting? From there, you can decide your next course of action.

The Internet of Things Is Coming: Will You Be Prepared?

The Internet of Things (IoT)—a large, interconnected landscape of everyday objects that are connected to a network and include embedded sensors—is quite possibly the hottest term in the technology realm right now. Connected devices hold enormous potential for both consumers and enterprises in a wide range of areas from home management to jet engine mechanics. For example, smart thermostats that can dynamically regulate home environments based on set owner preferences, and jet engines that will be able to diagnose their own mechanical problems and send out alerts when they are in need of repairs are both on deck.

The numbers make clear that the IoT is more than just a buzzword—it is a rapidly expanding global market. For instance, a recent report from Business Insider projected that there would be 23.3 billion IoT devices connected in all sectors by 2019; the same report noted that spending on enterprise IoT products and services will increase to $255 billion over the next five years, up from $46.2 billion in 2014.

These predictions are a welcome sign for device manufacturers, wireless operators and enterprises that stand to increase profit and efficiency—through the use of Big Data analytics—as   the IoT develops. At the same time, the explosion in connected devices will undoubtedly present some significant challenges and increase the workload for network engineers and IT security professionals.

The billions of new connections that will emerge over the next several years will create a much greater number of endpoints on wireless networks—and any of these connected devices can be targeted for malicious attacks. In fact, hackers have already infiltrated consumer products like smart refrigerators and televisions and security researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to hack a piece of office equipment, such as a printer.

In light of these developments, businesses should consider re-examining their wireless security solutions to make sure the defenses they have in place can meet the challenge of contending with the rapid expansion of the IoT.

A best-in-class wireless network analyzer can protect against security threats and downtime and allow for more effective troubleshooting. For instance, such a solution allows for remote data capture and analysis from a central location no matter where on the network the problem has occurred nor where tracked mobile users may roam. That analysis includes tracking for more than 60 types of wireless events and provides:

  • Comprehensive, real-time performance and security monitoring
  • The ability to track authentications, rogue access points and other events
  • Alerts to potential problems that are prioritized by severity
  • The ability to drill down on the exact source of a potential security threat

The IoT is growing quickly—that much is certain. What remains to be seen is which organizations can maximize the value of connecting devices and which will be weighed down by security problems and subpar wireless network performance. Considering the scope of the IoT and its likely impact on a wide array of verticals, the way businesses adapt to this new connected world will be a significant differentiator for years to come.

Are you interested in learning more about this topic? Click here to watch any of our videos on wireless network analysis.