Monitoring traffic in big companies, enterprises, etc., is very different from that in a home or a small office. As the network expands, it becomes more difficult to control network traffic. However, if you want your network to run efficiently and smoothly without any hassles, it is essential to monitor network traffic.
You can use various network traffic monitoring systems for security and operational uses. Identify and solve cases of network issues, security shortcomings, and check what effect do new tools and applications have on your own network.
In the following blog, we will know how to monitor network traffic.
Select the correct source of data
Whenever you want to monitor traffic on your network, you can choose data sources from two places. You can get flow data from routers, and other layers 3 devices, or you can get packet data from TAPs, SPAN, or mirror ports. Flow data helps track traffic volume, and you can see the journey of a network from its start to the finish. You can find unauthorized traffic sources through this and utilize other resources on your network.
Packet data will help network managers understand how applications are being operated, track WAN link usage, find out suspicious malware or other security hazards. Network managers can find out the smallest details using deep packet inspection using packet data. It helps transform raw data into readable and gives you complete visibility over your network.
Choose the right points to monitor on the network
You need to make sure that you do not choose many data sources while monitoring your network traffic while starting. Instead of choosing every point, choose the points where the data converge. For example, VLANs of critical servers, internet gateway, or Ethernet ports. The Internet gateway is the first place you should monitor first when you get a new monitoring tool.
A mirror port or SPAN can be configured at the network core that allows you to capture any kind of traffic passing from here. You can analyze traffic coming to and fro to your internet and also the ones that can be found on vital servers.
Ditch the use of real-time data sometimes
You can complete many objectives of traffic monitoring when you monitor real-time data, but in some cases, it is not enough. Historical metadata is perfect for forensics networks, and you can also analyse past events and compare them with the present situation. Compare current trends and network activity with past analysis.
For this, it is recommended to use network monitoring tools that make use of deep packet inspection. These tools age the data sometimes, and you will get less information as you keep going back in time. It can help storage spaces, but a drawback is that you won’t be able to know how a cybercriminal breached your network’s defense and plant viruses and malware in your network.
When there is an absence of accurate data and information relating to an old event, you will have partial answers and will look for things that do not exist anymore. Also, you should know that certain traffic monitoring tools, event management, and security information tools keep their prices based on the data amount you need to keep and store in them. Make sure to keep this in mind when you are out searching for a network monitoring tool.
Usernames should be associated with data
Traditional tools for traffic monitoring on networks report all activity using MAC or IP addresses. This information is useful most of the time, but it can cause problems in DHPC devices and environments when you try to search for faulty devices. One simple thing that can relate to devices and network activity is usernames. If you associate usernames with data, you will be able to know who does what on your network.
Check packet payloads and flows for malware or lethal content
Most of the networks these days use intrusion detection systems, but only some of the networks have this technology for monitoring and analyzing internal traffic. In some cases, an IoT device or a mobile phone can damage a big network. Also, if the rules are misconfigured, the firewalls also allow the entry of malware and damaging content.
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Network traffic monitoring is vital to make sure that your network is running smoothly and is protected from cyber criminals and hackers. It can help you identify threats, improve performance, and keep your company safe. In the above blog, we read about how to monitor network traffic. Get some network monitoring tools that suit your needs and keep your network protected at all times.