Controlling your IT estate is vitally important for any successful business. But control is only possible when businesses have complete and reliable visibility over their network traffic. Without this, problems easily fly under the radar unnoticed until after it’s too late. So much information about us is now stored digitally, which means that it can be susceptible to attack. Malicious actors can use undiscovered vulnerabilities to infiltrate networks and wreak havoc, whether that’s by stealing data or carrying out a DDoS attack. However, when companies have a clear view of their network, these attacks are more difficult to carry out.
Often, the first indication that something may be amiss within your company network will be relatively minor. On the surface, your critical process may be running as normal, your CPUs may be operating at expected utilisation levels and nothing gives cause for concern. A closer look at network traffic, however, may reveal anomalous behaviour.
These anomalies may not seem malicious at first, but any network traffic that differs significantly from that which is generally expected is often a sign of malicious intent. But how do businesses identify this unusual network behaviour?
Xangati’s Anomaly Index
Fortunately, a number of tools enable businesses to monitor their network traffic in great detail. Often dubbed “Network Behaviour Anomaly Detection” (NBAD) tools, they provide real-time tracking of critical network characteristics, looking for patterns which match the signatures of known security threats.
At Xangati, our Anomaly Index offers a slightly different approach to network monitoring. In order to provide a holistic view of network performance, the index is accompanied by four other metrics: Performance, Availability, Relative Capacity and Current Efficiency. This means that system administrators can view all needed information directly from the Xangati dashboard, allowing them to identify possible threats, use analytics to assess behavioural anomalies and keep availability high. Additionally, Xangati’s network tools can be paired with any number of additional modules from the Xangati ESP for Cloud Infrastructure solution.
Riding out the storm
Because of the potential disruption they can cause, Xangati classifies anomaly-related events as “storms.” Service Storms refer to email and upload/download activity, while abnormal behaviour, which could be a sign of an impending DDoS attack, is dubbed an Unusual Activity Storm.
However, knowing that a storm is on the way is only the first stage of anomaly analysis. Xangati ESP utilises a graphical interface to give IT administrators a clear view of the storm-related event, how severe it is likely to be and the recommended response. After the storm has passed, Xangati ESP can replay the event for further analysis, and the Anomaly Index can generate a report looking at the anomalous activity over a certain time period.
Having a clear understanding of network behaviour is vital if businesses expect to maintain control over their IT estate. Any number of potential dangers may be hiding in your IT infrastructure, but by using solutions like Xangati’s ESP and Anomaly Index, your business can ride out any lurking storms and ensure that IT tools remain available for your employees and customers.