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How to Improve Network Visibility

When it comes to network monitoring, there are certain steps you can take to improve security. One of the most important things to know is that network visibility is going to help you improve not just overall security but also control and efficiency.

The use of certain tools such as a DNS appliance is a good way to improve network visibility, but going beyond the tools themselves, what else should you know about improving network visibility?

An Overview of Network Visibility

Enterprise networks grow increasingly large and complex with numerous devices, users, applications and cloud services all linked to them. Large-scale businesses often have hundreds or thousands of employees accessing the network on a daily basis. These connections can be coming from not only within the official workspace but remotely as well.

While we often think of networks as being relevant to large businesses, this is something that’s occurring with smaller businesses as well.

Smaller businesses also have networks and increasing demands placed on those networks.

With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), not only will network monitoring become even more important but perhaps more challenging as well.

It’s essential for all organizations, regardless of size, to have a sense of network visibility.

Network visibility means that not only your monitoring technology but your team can easily see everything that’s happening at any given time and interpret it appropriately.

Network visibility includes network performance and security and the discovery of devices.

When you have end-to-end network visibility, it can not only help you discover potential security issues, but also performance problems. Network visibility can help you look at speed, loss, latency, and other critical metrics.

Appropriate Monitoring

Network monitoring has to happen for visibility to be available. Visibility is also a necessary part of any security plan.

Monitoring is part of what’s sometimes described as a Visibility Architecture. A Visibility Architecture means that there is an uninterrupted flow of information that moves to monitoring and security tools.

This is an end-to-end architecture that allows for complete visibility into not only the physical network but also the virtual network and the application network. A Network Packet Broker can be a way to provide this end-to-end Visibility Architecture.

What Is a Network Packet Broker?

A Network Packet Broker is a term used for a device that brings together monitoring tools. It serves as a link between network monitoring traffic.

An NPB can take data from one network link and take it to one tool, or multiple links to multiple tools. Specific network monitoring tools, including the network monitor itself, the application monitor, intrusion detection systems, and firewalls.

A Network Packet Broker should be able to safely remove redundant data and filter applications.

The Importance of Visibility

As organizations continue to grapple with the ongoing and growing challenges of cybersecurity, they should put their attention toward visibility.

Lack of visibility is often named as the reason for breaches and cybersecurity issues.

As was mentioned, this challenge of visibility is only going to expand with the IoT and also bring-your-own-device policies at many companies.

It’s impossible to deal with threats or potential threats you don’t know exist.

That’s why there have to be multiple security layers and real-time protection.

There also something called Zero-Trust Architecture that may be relevant in this area of discussion.

Zero-Trust Architecture is a security model that operates under the assumption that no actors, services, or systems can inherently be trusted, even if they operate from within a security perimeter. With this approach, everything is verified before it connects to a system and gains access, even if it comes from the inside.

In the past, when only the perimeter was secured, many hackers could infiltrate firewalls and get into systems without unfettered access.

With Zero-Trust, there is specific enforcement of the perimeter paired with micro-segmentation and an intense focus on visibility. Access is based on users, locations, and other data.

If you put in place Zero-Trust Architecture, then you can track movements of an attacker and then stop the attack, but again visibility is integral to this.

Visibility over your network and every aspect of it is so important for a modern cybersecurity approach and also to ensure productivity.

Visibility means that you have not only the necessary security measures in place for your perimeter but also that you take steps to build security measures within your organization’s network as well.