One of the most crucial aspects of network monitoring is security monitoring. Security breaches are more common now than ever before. The whole integrity of your network is at stake if even one node gets attacked.
This is why it’s vital that businesses rely on a central network security software that continuously monitors the effectiveness of the security measures in place.
Having network security tools is just a small part of the bigger picture. You should look out for the following 10 things to ensure that the solution you have can protect you from cyber-attacks from all fronts.
1. Centralized Log Collection and Analysis
A reliable way to detect threats is to use a centralized console to collect all logs from all the devices within the network, including the physical server, the devices, the workstations, and databases. Any activity should be logged and analyzed to detect any suspicious activity.
If you don’t have a centralized log collection system in place, you should think about investing in one. It’s the simplest way to get a timely alert in case of a security event. The centralized nature ensures that all nodes in the server are monitored simultaneously. It makes network security audits seamless and reliable.
2. Up-to-Date Software
One of the most common mistakes in cybersecurity monitoring is not ensuring that all the software and tools within the organization and network are up-to-date. Unsupported software can leave the vulnerabilities of the system visible to attackers, especially in a Microsoft environment.
Either you should manually ensure that all the network nodes have up-to-date software or get a monitoring tool that offers a patch management framework.
3. Change Management
You should look into the mechanisms for change management in your network security tools. For instance, if a configuration is changed on a router, firewall, or switch, it could only really mean two things: either the change was authorized or unauthorized.
In the latter case, the security tool should ideally restore the last working config setting to ensure minimal downtime. You effectively need change management and disaster recovery tool to ensure security attacks like these can be circumvented. The network change and configuration management tool will also keep a tab on logon failures, security modification, and account modifications.
4. Tracking End Point Devices through Switch Ports
Are you able to map endpoint devices? You should be able to map them through the switch ports they use and ultimately monitor user activity in real-time. Monitoring switch ports is important, especially if your network is open to outside devices. This can help detect threats early on and standby security event management procedures.
Monitoring switch port usage can also help IT security audit to find any suspicious device or user activity. You can trace the IP address, MAC address, as well as hostname to find exactly which device or user is trying to attack your network.
5. Monitoring User Activity
You need a central network security software that monitors user activity around the clock. Many of the IT security solutions make it a thing of monitoring user activity because the truth is many times the attacks occur through privileged user accounts. Monitoring their activity at all times can help the system pin down suspicious behavior quickly.
For example, if a user within the network is off duty, but their network device is active, that would qualify as a suspicious event. That could mean that an external party has acquired control of that person’s device and may attack the entire network. Only sophisticated security monitoring software can notify of such an event.
6. Monitoring SQL Server Activity
A network security audit should also comprise monitoring the database server. You must also be aware of any security events occurring on the database server, which is why having a database monitoring solution should also be a part of your security infrastructure. SQL monitoring will notify of any changes, errors, duplication attempts, and login attempts.
7. Standard Compliance
Network security is a vast field within the IT universe, and we have seen a lot of progress and standardization of security protocols. There are many different security standards that are designed to make network security more robust. SOX, HIPAA, and PCI DSS are examples of such regulatory standards that can help improve security.
What you need is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system that complies with these standards. The rules should be built-in within the security monitoring system, which can help you avoid data breaches, as well as legal trouble.
8. Real-time, Intelligent Alerts
What’s the use if a problem is detected, but you’re not notified just in time? The security alerts are an important part of the event management protocol. The security alert should be generated in real-time. More importantly, it should have ample information to give the person receiving the alerts all the information they need to take the next steps.
9. Automated Remediation
You wouldn’t ideally want to deal with every security event, especially those non-critical ones. Having network security tools that resolve issues on their own without human intervention can save your enterprise tons of time and resources. This will allow your security teams to work on direr issues at hand.
10. End-to-end Monitoring
If the network monitoring software doesn’t have full visibility of the network, it cannot do its job right. For effective end-to-end monitoring, the software should have access to all the network devices. This includes even the most privileged users, as even they are susceptible to attacks from external forces. Transparency is key when it comes to network security management.
Security monitoring is one of the most crucial aspects of your IT infrastructure. You need to stay on top of security because you’re always susceptible to attacks. You not only need network security software but a good one at that. VirtualMetric IT Security Monitoring and Management Suite covers all the things pointed out above to ensure an all-rounder security coverage for the entire network.