how to combine network monitoring and security together

September 22, 2020

Uniform cross-departmental network monitoring and uniform security tools allow a more cooperative approach between network and security managers in the company. In addition, the resulting, improved and cross-departmental collaboration promotes progress and innovation - an invaluable asset in times of digital transformation.

How to Combine Montoring and Security

The Digital Transformation in Network Monitoring

The digital transformation has developed into a decisive factor for the success of companies. Many business initiatives arise in order to enable a better customer experience: after all, a positive digital impression ensures more satisfied customers and partners and more sales.

It does not matter whether it is a web shop, an online bank or digital services. Some companies have just benefited from the successful implementation of digitization and thus set themselves apart from the competition. Despite all the advantages, the digital transformation remains a complex challenge for companies. This is especially true for networks, where the focus is on optimal performance and user experience and incorrect management tools can quickly become costly and time-consuming.

Nowadays, network management only works in conjunction with a comprehensive security strategy; The consequences when day-to-day business applications fail and inefficient digital experience management leads to business interruptions and damage to the image of companies and management are now far too serious. In addition, sales growth is just as jeopardized as business growth and customer data.

Poor performance can lead to costly interruptions in production or a serious drop in sales in online retail. In order to meet these challenges, companies should view the issue of security as a cross-team task that must be a central task, especially for network managers.

Network Security

A study by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) from 2017 describes network security as the most urgent initiative that also defines the priorities in the management of network and application performance. After all, effective security is critical to the business running of two ways: It ensures that network services are seamlessly available and reduces the risk of a data breach (and thus damage to company reputation). That is why the issue of security is of the highest priority, especially in company management, in order to monitor applications and record their reaction times.

According to the EMA study, efficient network service is inextricably linked with security. Security incidents are the second most common cause of complex performance problems (after the network infrastructure itself). So how can network and security teams work together to provide a setup that gives businesses great insights and all the metrics they need?

Breaking down the silos of the past

Because of the way IT has evolved over the years, many companies still work with fragmented monitoring tools - Tool X for Application Performance Management and Tool Y for End User Experience Monitoring. Those responsible face this fact differently: Some say "it's running!" And refer to the local, isolated silos, while the overall performance suffers enormously from the point of view of the end user.

There was already a general trend towards addressing these challenges and upgrading monitoring tools. The supreme discipline in extended network monitoring , however, is to switch from a reactive to a proactive approach - through the use of analytics and integrated systems. Purchasing a new monitoring tool alone cannot guarantee this. Companies would therefore do well to adapt all of their security strategies. After all, this is the only way they can react before an incident occurs. A holistic approach to performance management also ensures satisfied customers because performance bottlenecks are identified and resolved before they are even noticeable.

For network and security teams to work together successfully, departments need to share existing analytics in network monitoring. This becomes a challenge when the departments are isolated from each other. This is often due to the fact that those responsible then use various tools to record performance metrics. However, as soon as they collect data in a standardized way and take joint precautions based on it, the companies benefit in many ways: For example, by working across departments, many more employees have a view of the network performance and thus security.

What can be done to prevent a worst case scenario?

Companies with a uniform security concept and various preventive measures are of course not completely safe from cyber attacks - there is no absolute security against unauthorized access. The online arms race between hackers and victims is endless and sophisticated cyber attacks are constantly evolving. However, as soon as everyone involved follows a common security concept, this helps them to keep an eye on current developments.

Network Security Issues

Cybersecurity market is booming!

Indeed, the current cybersecurity landscape has resulted in a boom in solutions that can identify and investigate potential threats. And this is exactly where performance management plays a key role in overall cybersecurity in the company - it is about making the wealth of data collected by performance monitoring tools available to those responsible for security. This enables them to investigate incidents and fix problems in no time.

Network monitoring solutions meanwhile represent a kind of additional layer of protection. After all, they increasingly offer options such as threat intelligence, DDoS detection, workflows for searching for threats or monitoring tools for data packets. Choosing more advanced tools can bring huge benefits to network and security teams, such as:

  • Increased cost efficiency: Standardized tools make certain solutions redundant and thus reduce maintenance and administration costs.
  • Clearer context: With shared tools and processes, network and security teams better understand where they depend on each other. This makes it easier for the various teams to see how weak points are created or prevented by the design, configuration or changes to the network.
  • Optimized collaborative processes: Collaboration streamlines workflows. professionals no longer have to spend their time resolving incidents. Instead, you have more time for strategic planning.

Conclusion

Through collaboration, uniform network monitoring and uniform security tools, companies can achieve a comprehensive, more collaborative approach for both disciplines. In addition, the improved and cross-departmental collaboration that is gained from this promotes progress and innovation. This enables companies to keep pace with increasing user demands and sophisticated security threats.