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Cyber Monday: A Favorite Holiday for Hackers

As if retailers needed another reason to be anxious about cybercrime, Cyber Monday—also known as the Monday after Thanksgiving—is just days away. While sales are expected to surge for online retailers, they also now have to contend with cyber criminals who are ready to hack.

In recent years, hackers have made a habit of striking en masse, taking advantage of the incredible volume of e-commerce during Cyber Monday. For businesses that fall victim to an attack, any hope of a fiscally successful holiday season immediately takes a major hit. A recent survey from the Ponemon Institute found that holiday hacks can cost retailers around $8,000 per minute, or $480,000 an hour. To protect themselves against these malicious intruders, retailers should consider adopting network monitoring solutions that include robust network forensics capabilities.

Put simply, network forensics solutions give your engineers the tools they need to recognize an attack quickly, even on a high-speed network, by collecting and storing all information in a single location. With a clear view of all traffic, engineers can drill down quickly into any anomalies and uncover the source of a data or security breach. Your IT security team can even create filters that isolate malicious behavior from normal traffic. Your engineers can set up notifications to alert them when the filter is triggered and they can immediately begin to root out the intruder before significant damage occurs.

Last but not least, network forensics lets your IT security teams reconstruct network events, whether they occurred hours ago or weeks before. Using this capability engineers can study an attack—as hackers are constantly coming up with new techniques—to better prepare for future incidents. After all, cyber attacks won’t stop after Cyber Monday.

Protect Your High-Speed Network this Holiday Season

If you’re a retailer that has upgraded to a 10G—or faster—network in anticipation of the holiday season, congratulations are in order because you’ve made a wise decision. Between streaming videos on your website, offering multichannel service in your contact center and running your company’s usual slew of bandwidth-intensive applications, high-speed networks are rapidly becoming a priority for retailers.

But although a faster network will certainly increase your capacity, it also makes monitoring more difficult. After all, a higher rate of data transfer can make it more complex to troubleshoot network issues, and if the network suffers an extended outage or subpar performance, the speed you added speed is essentially useless.

The holiday season can make or break an entire fiscal year for a retailer, so the last thing your company can afford is downtime between now and the New Year. So, to ensure your high-speed system runs smoothly as temperatures get colder and business heats, you need a solution that increases network visibility and ensures optimal high speed network performance.

Best-in-class high-speed network analysis solutions offer end-to-end monitoring and data capture for common applications like Web, Email, IM, and VoIP. Our products ensure that data packets don’t go missing and that your network engineers can quickly view all the relevant information they need to analyze any section of the network. Armed with this data, these engineers can:United States

  • Rapidly resolve network issues in real-time, before they become major problems
  • Optimize network and application performance
  • Baseline the entire network
  • Mitigate security threats
  • Improve overall end-user productivity

Don’t leave your 10/40/100G network’s performance up to chance this season. Want to learn more about how network management tools giving you greater visibility on high speed networks? Click here to download WildPackets’ Success Kit.

Improving Visibility in Virtual Networks

Over the past decade, as networks became increasingly complex and crucial for businesses across all verticals, the IT industry developed new ideas about network design. Virtualization was born out of that process, as businesses—particularly data centers and enterprises maintaining large networks—sought to curb ever-growing hardware-related expenses. Cloud services, built on visualization technology, gradually made their way into the mainstream during that time as well.

Indeed, using virtualization to separate control plane from data plane functions and allowing managers to maintain networks from one or just a few screens can help businesses reduce IT expenses by limiting the space, power and cooling requirements for hardware. But virtualization also limits network visibility, making it nearly impossible to monitor new kinds of traffic, which include:

  • Invisible—remains in the rack and never travels across the physical network, making it difficult to capture
  • Intrahost—involves one physical host and several virtual machines
  • Interhost—where multiple virtual hosts are connected on a virtual fabric, resulting in a collection of virtual systems with only one physical connection to the network

So what can businesses do? Continuing to scale hardware is financially unsustainable, but operating without network visibility is too risky. For businesses stuck between these two undesirable options, WildPackets virtual network analysis solutions can bring back the real-time troubleshooting capability that technicians need to do their jobs effectively. Such bleeding-edge technology continuously monitors critical applications running in virtual environments and notifies IT immediately if a problem arises. The solution also records all network traffic, which can be reviewed at any time.

Virtualization presents new difficulties for network professionals, but these problems do have solutions. If you’re interested in learning more about virtualization and its impact on network monitoring, click here to download our white paper entitled “Managing Networks in the Age of Cloud, SDN, and Big Data: Network Management Megatrends 2014.”