Blog :: NDR :: Network Security

The Essential Role of Network Monitoring in Network Security

Every year, there is a greater number of breach disclosures. Some do so for the first time; for other organizations, it’s the latest in a string of breaches. Recently, my home state of Maine announced a massive breach affecting nearly every resident. In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity is not just a buzzword but a critical component of organizational resilience, and with the increasing sophistication of bad actors, traditional security measures are no longer sufficient. Firewalls, endpoint, zero trust— all of these are critical but insufficient on their own. Too many organizations act as if there is a silver bullet that will finally resolve all their security woes. This is false. In 2023, effective cybersecurity strategy is about risk mitigation as much as prevention. 

This is where the integration of network traffic analysis by leveraging NetFlow/IPFIX comes into play, offering a more proactive and holistic approach to cybersecurity.

Emerging Threats and Network Monitoring

Cyber threats are evolving rapidly. Ransomware, phishing attacks, and advanced persistent threats (APTs) are just the tip of the iceberg. The complexity of these threats necessitates a shift in our cybersecurity strategies. Network monitoring plays a key role here, enabling organizations to detect unusual network behavior indicative of a breach and identify and isolate damage before it results in complete compromise and public scandal. By analyzing NetFlow/IPFIX data, companies can identify anomalies in network traffic patterns, a key and seemingly often underutilized indicator of potential security incidents.  

The Power of Visibility in Cybersecurity

Visibility is the cornerstone of effective cybersecurity. Most security teams today still lack visibility on actual traffic, and network monitoring tools provide this visibility, offering a single pane of glass for activity core-to-edge-to-cloud. This insight is invaluable for contextualizing events and allowing IT teams to detect and respond to threats swiftly with the help of ML-driven behavior detection. The granularity of data provided by tools like those offered by Plixer can be a game-changer, turning raw data into actionable intelligence

Proactive Defense with Predictive Analytics

The integration of predictive analytics into network monitoring is revolutionizing cybersecurity. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, network monitoring tools can predict and identify potential security incidents before they escalate into full-blown breaches. Sophisticated data exfiltration attempts missed by legacy solutions can be detected based on the changes in traffic patterns. This proactive stance is critical in a landscape where reaction time can mean the difference between a minor incident and a catastrophic breach. 

Rich in context, low in overhead

Many legacy detection solutions focus on the perimeter, endpoints, or full packet capture. While all are important, it leaves problematic gaps. Packets, in particular, are valuable but tend to have high overhead for both deployment and storage costs. This limits the ability of organizations to obtain meaningful context around incidents that lasted more than a few days while also reducing the amount of context that can be fed into your machine learning models. NetFlow/IPFIX offers a third way: a lightweight, context-rich, and easy-to-deploy approach to leveraging network data. Best of all, no sensors are required: Plixer can collect and report on 9013 unique elements from 35 vendors across your network infrastructure.  

The integration of network monitoring by leveraging NetFlow/IPFIX data into cybersecurity strategies represents a significant leap forward in our fight against cyber threats. By offering enhanced visibility, predictive analytics, and a focus on risk reductions, organizations can defend against current threats and prepare for future challenges. 

Nils Werner is the Director of Customer Success at Plixer. He has been with the company for eight years, where his extensive experience in sales, renewals, and business development, combined with a deep understanding of the market, drives his commitment to customer excellence.