Network visibility refers to a company’s awareness of its network regarding security and network traffic. Network visibility enables companies to understand their network information better to make business decisions. Networks are becoming more complex as more businesses try to stay at the forefront of network technologies.
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The Importance Of Network Visibility For Your Business’s Security
Network visibility provides businesses with important information that impacts decision-making. Understanding how their specific network traffic acts can allow firms to increase their efficiency and security measures. As technology progresses, the need for good network visibility increases for companies.
As more businesses outsource additional functions to remote workers and servers, network visibility can become clouded. Companies want to maintain their network visibility while retaining overall performance.
Potential challenges many firms face include:
With so many employees working from home, more and more rely on virtual private networks, or VPNs, to access other networks. A VPN allows users to bypass virtual tracking on their home network and appear to be using a different network. Remote work can reduce network visibility as the VPN is masking it.
Network blind spots
Blind spots occur when businesses rely on cloud storage and computing as the cloud masks network visibility. Blind spots are common with cloud computing because the cloud typically operates under its network, causing a lack of visibility for the firm.
Data encryption is inherently bad for network visibility as encrypted data is confidential information by nature. Encrypted information is widespread in today’s online world, further clouding network visibility.
Visibility tool limitations
IT companies recommend using visibility tools to increase network visibility. Visibility tools require additional bandwidth to allow increased processing power. In addition, these tools can become inundated with excessive information as they monitor the network, which can further slow traffic.
These tools utilize protective software such as firewall, antivirus software, and data loss prevention to monitor the network. With the complexity of the network, connecting these functions can slow down overall efficiency and network implementation.
Best Procedures For Network Visibility
Network visibility needs to be sustainable to be beneficial in the long run.
The network visibility infrastructure needs to be:
- Scalable. As packet volume increases with the demand for increased network speed, network visibility tools must adjust their capacity.
- Sustainable. Technology is constantly replacing itself with newer, faster models. Potential upgrades to the visibility tools will happen in the future and need to be easily accessible.
- Flexible. As with sustainability, visibility tools should be flexible to accommodate growth and change in the network demands. Flexibility will save time on future upgrades and maintenance.
Additionally, businesses need to consider the best options for packet management for their company, including:
- Packet source selection. Connecting to one or multiple packet sources can determine how efficiently your network runs. Selecting a packet source enables network administrators to monitor and maintain network visibility without increasing data usage.
- Choosing a packet access technique. Choosing which packets to observe is a decision the administrator should consider when thinking about network visibility. Test access points, or TAPs, help administrators choose the most viable packets to monitor. The benefit of utilizing a TAP is that they don’t add additional strain to the network; however, they can allow for security threats to enter. A switched port analyzer, or SPAN, is more secure but requires additional bandwidth to function correctly.
- Passive vs active deployment technologies. Administrators may opt for a passive approach that provides fundamental insights into performance or a dynamic process that allows administrators to reorganize traffic flow using visibility technology.
- Accommodating virtual infrastructure. A cloud network may require particular technology that allows for space in the cloud network to build a sustainable infrastructure for network visibility. The infrastructure can create network visibility issues usually resolved by other visibility tools.
Leading Network Visibility Tools And Agents
Your IT provider can use many tools that allow for greater network visibility. Network visibility tools track overall network performance, including monitoring traffic, data, and resource management. These factors can help businesses to make better-informed decisions regarding data.
Tools commonly used for network visibility:
Network packet brokers (NPB)
Network packet brokers, or NPBs, collect information from numerous places and spread it to network monitoring entities and security services. This method allows more optimal information gathering, allowing businesses to make better decisions. An NPB can scale with the growing firm as additional network capacity is possible.
A software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN, utilizes software instead of physical hardware like many traditional methods. Most physical hardware, like firewalls, have constraints that many software services do not. SD-WANs use software-based storage needs like cloud servers. SD-WANs can increase overall efficiency and security by simplifying network needs.
A network TAP has physical limitations because they are directly inserted into the network to track network traffic. The network TAP monitors network traffic to report back without slowing down traffic. It allows the network TAP to look for errors and troubleshoot network problems.
Network Visibility And Your Business
The importance of cyber resilience for your business is becoming increasingly necessary in today’s internet world. Your company is vulnerable to cyber security issues and data breaches without clear network visibility. Network visibility is the best way to improve overall efficiency for your business by accessing all the required information to make informed decisions.
Monitoring network traffic is easier than ever before with a reliable IT company by your side. At Network Elites, we use modern technologies to effortlessly and efficiently monitor your network to look for blind spots and weaknesses. Network monitoring allows us to help you run your business as smoothly and efficiently as possible, saving you time and money. Contact Network Elites today at 214-247-6962 to discuss IT solutions for your business!