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FCW : September 15, 2015
23 compromises and other adverse situations much more quickly, usually without human intervention. In turn, this enables immediate automated responses, which minimizes the negative effects of these problems. In terms of cost, increasing network visibility can actually provide substantial savings. A surprising finding of the Riverbed study was that by improving network visibility, downtime for networks and applications can be sharply reduced. The resulting increase in productivity can more than make up for the cost of implementing and operating network visibility- enabling technologies. So, although nearly half of the federal IT leaders surveyed by Riverbed said they do not think that they have enough funding to fix their network visibility problems, it’s possible that the solutions would pay for themselves. To learn more about the latest trends and technologies in networking, read CDW’s Tech Insights Guide “Gigabit Networking: Connect with the Future.” 27% The percentage of federal technology leaders who said they are able to find the root cause of network performance issues quickly Increasing Visibility Agencies generally cannot fix all of their network visibility problems with a single change. Improving visibility usually requires a combination of new monitoring technologies and adjustments to existing security architectures. Network monitoring tools and their cloud service-based counterparts provide IT administrators with highly granular and dynamic visibility into their network infrastructure and the devices (such as servers and clients) connected to these networks. The visibility-related capabilities offered by network monitoring tools vary widely, but common features include: • Automatic identification of network outages and performance reductions, as well as their causes • Dynamic mapping of the entire network infrastructure, including the identities of all devices on it • Monitoring of individual applications to identify application performance problems, then determine if each problem is being caused by the application itself or by the underlying network infrastructure • Estimation of when particular components of the network infrastructure should be upgraded or replaced based on network usage patterns • Automatic alerts when undesirable conditions are detected Some network monitoring tools can also automatically correct the problems they find. An agency that does not have an efficient means of acting on identified problems will not benefit as much from improving its network visibility. Such agencies may need to deploy more comprehensive network management tools that have the ability not only to monitor networks and connected devices, but also to automatically perform specific actions when problems occur. These actions could include severing an individual network connection, blocking a bandwidth-consuming denial-of- service attack or reconfiguring a router. Simply adding network monitoring tools is generally not sufficient to solve an agency’s entire network visibility problem. IT leaders usually have to adjust their security architectures as well. The primary reason for this is to take into consideration the use of encryption to protect the confidentiality of network communications. If these technologies are deployed to standard network locations, such as the edge of the enterprise perimeter, such communications cannot be monitored and analyzed by network monitoring tools, network-based intrusion detection systems or other security technologies that monitor network traffic for suspicious activity. Rather, these technologies must be deployed to locations where the traffic is unencrypted. If the traffic is encrypted from end to end, then host-based versions of these technologies should be used on the sending and receiving hosts instead. By ensuring that robust network monitoring technologies are deployed to the proper locations within the agency, IT administrators can greatly increase their network visibility, leading to a sharp reduction in the negative effects of outages, performance issues and some network-based attacks. “In terms of cost, increasing network visibility can actually provide substantial savings. A surprising finding of the Riverbed study was that by improving network visibility, downtime for networks and applications can be sharply reduced.” Source: Riverbed Technology, “The Federal Network Visibility Crisis: Get to Know Your Apps,” May 2015
August 30, 2015
September 30, 2015