Attacks on the Internet are a fact of life. Every computer with a network connection is at risk. You can make things much harder for the criminals with good security practices, but there’s no such thing as being 100% safe. You need to be ready to deal with any attacks that get through, spotting them as quickly as possible. Network monitoring is a vital tool for making sure your systems haven’t been infected.
Malware typically uses a “command and control” model. After it infects a computer, it connects to a server which the criminals operate. It reports its presence, gets instructions, sends stolen data, or downloads more malware. If you could see everything happening on an infected network, you’d see a lot of data packets that didn’t make sense. They’d be going to a server with an unfamiliar domain name, doing something mysterious.
A network monitoring service can catch this traffic. It will spot unusual patterns and tell what machine the suspicious traffic is coming from. Administrators can then take a closer look. It might be just an unusual application doing legitimate work, or it might be something nasty. If it isn’t clearly legitimate, it’s time to run a scan on the machine for any signs of malware.
Spotting attacks early
Monitoring will also detect unauthorized incoming traffic. A large number of login attempts tells you that someone is trying hard to break into a system. Strangely constructed URLs suggest that an attacker wants to find a vulnerability in a Web application. If your security is strong enough, it’s just a waste of their time, but you should double-check that the gates are firmly barred.
Threat intelligence is an important part of network monitoring. Each kind of malware has its own signature, a pattern of activity which can identify it. Many of them are very sneaky, disguising their activity as legitimate, uninteresting traffic. Security monitoring needs to keep up with the latest developments to identify suspicious patterns.
Kotori Technologies’ managed services can keep your systems running efficiently and securely. Contact us to find out how we can help you.