Three Network Monitoring Initiatives to Consider in 2014

As a business manager, by now you have probably discussed the importance of network monitoring with your network engineers and IT staff. Networks are the backbones of most of today’s businesses, meaning any slowdown or failure can bring almost every facet of operations to a grinding halt.

But while many executives understand how network monitoring can save their company money by protecting against downtime, security breaches or other disruptions, they may not be fully aware of what tools are available or what strategies are most effective for oversight. With that in mind, we’ve decided to lay out three network monitoring initiatives to consider in 2014:

Make Big Data a Big Deal
It’s pretty simple: the more information you have about your network, the easier it is to keep it running optimally. With other network monitoring systems, you can only get small glimpses of data, but with Wildpackets’ WatchPoint network monitor, you get a clear picture of your network that lets your IT security team discover and deal with issues that may otherwise have gone undetected. The equipment provides a complete view of your system, even on high-speed, complex networks. Additionally, WatchPoint:

  • Aggregates data from up to 100 network segments into a single view of network health, application trends, and business activity
  • Collects and summarizes data from supported devices
  • Delivers data analytics with one-minute granularity for up to one year

In addition to providing a real-time network panorama, these tools allow for your network engineer to review activity from past events. WatchPoint’s best-in-class analytics are unmatched by competitors, as are the detail and scope of its historical recording capabilities.

Embrace Network Forensics
Revelations about some enormous network breaches have rocked consumers in recent weeks, with Target’s security failure leading the way. As many as 110 million people may have been affected by the breach, and the investigation has now reached the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and the Justice Department. Meanwhile, Target is left to explain how hackers could have operated freely for weeks inside their network.

In the event that a successful attack does occur, Wildpackets’ network forensics tools allow your team to detect and characterize attacks and isolate malicious behavior for further investigation. No business has 100 percent network security, but consumers do expect that if a breach takes place, your company can take the proper steps to make sure that similar attempts are thwarted in the future.

“I tell clients it is not a matter of is it going to happen. It’s when and how many times,” said Donna L. Wilson, a Los Angeles litigator specializing in consumer protection, data security and privacy. “Oftentimes with data security, you find yourself planning for the last war and trying to anticipate what’s happening in the future.”

Get Ready for Gigabit Wireless
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard has the ability to revolutionize how enterprises support the large quantity of devices connecting to corporate networks, and to do it at speeds in excess of 1Gbps. Yet, most organizations do not understand that monitoring and analyzing 802.11ac traffic requires significant changes in the way wireless data is captured for analysis.

The best approach is to plan ahead and design overlap into your initial 802.11ac network design. Whether you intend to simply troubleshoot from time to time, or you’re planning on a 24×7 monitoring and analysis capability, using wireless access points (APs) as data capture devices will provide complete visibility into your 802.11ac network, and it will provide a highly distributed analysis solution that you can access from anywhere, saving time and money when problems occur. WildPackets OmniPeek network analysis software supports connectivity to all major brands of APs, making distributed analysis of remote wireless networks extremely simple, which is especially important as wireless breaks the gigabit barrier.

Is your business planning a different network initiative this year? Let us know about it in the comment section below!

Is your business planning a different network initiative this year? Let us know about it in the comment section below!

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