9 ways a network monitoring system can improve network security

How to improve your network security
6 min

When it comes to network security, companies should have a solid infrastructure to secure every layer of their networks. Whether the safety of the networks and the connected devices is jeopardized by a malware attack, a user mistake, or even a natural disaster, a good network monitoring and management system can help minimize the damage.  

As cybercriminals and hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, network security procedures, tools, and best practices are becoming more complex. As a result, they require specialized technology service providers with the ability to handle and deal with these types of threats. 

To provide effective network security to their clients, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and IT Departments need to constantly improve their security protocols. 

One way to detect malicious events, like unauthorized access into a network, is to rely on a proactive monitoring system that periodically runs a security check of your networks. Such systems also alert you if any new potential threat is found.

Equipped with features like security reporting, real-time alerts, UPnP Port Forwarding Scanner, WAN and LAN scans, Domotz provides a network monitoring solution that also acts ad a useful tool when it comes to keeping a network safe.

Here is a list of 9 ways a network monitoring system can help you improve your network security:

1) Alerting on Unexpected Devices

Rapid identification is critical when an unexpected device connects to your network. Above all, you must be notified when such an event occurs to increase your network security. Ensure a functioning network and business by establishing which devices are critical, necessary, and important to the functioning of all the systems on the network. When unnecessary devices are placed onto a network, vulnerabilities can be exposed.

Domotz network monitoring system continuously scans the network, looking for changes to devices. The software can alert you when new devices show up on the network. Then you get to decide if that device should be blocked, removed, or marked as acceptable.

The network monitoring and alerts feature is a great way to ensure that your networks remain secure and that you’re in control.

2) Network Inventory Asset Management

Domotz automatically scans your network to discover and identify the devices that are present. Information such as MAC Address, IP Address, manufacturer, make, model, type, location, zone, and software version are returned for each device. The MAC address is a unique number that is associated to each individual device on the network and can be linked into an Asset Management System, giving you a living document on the status of your equipment. In addition, you receive information about when these assets are on the network and when they leave the network. Understanding where your assets are at all times is an important part of your network security.

3) Monitoring Open Ports

The Domotz network monitoring platform can be configured to monitor ports being opened on the WAN side of your network. While the Domotz service is not a firewall, it is bringing awareness to you that a WAN-side port may be open to your network, exposing it to potential hackers. If this port points to a device on the network that is using the default, or commonly used credentials, then this network is completely exposed. Domotz continuously checks for ports that are opened and alerts you to this potential vulnerability. It is up to you to then take action, by accessing the router/firewall and closing the port or to accept the port as a known vulnerability. If you reject the vulnerability within Domotz but do not fix the issue, the system will alert you again on the next scan. This continuous monitoring helps mitigate WAN-side security vulnerabilities.

4) UPnP Port Forwarding Scanner

In addition to looking for WAN-side ports being open, the Domotz UPnP Port Forwarding Scanner also looks for UPnP port forwards enabled by the router. Universal Plug and Play, commonly known as UPnP, is a legacy technology that allows devices on a network to gain access to external services. This technology makes it easy for systems and services to be deployed on a network and improves your network security. The problem with UPnP is that it is not as secure as it should be. Domotz recommends that UPnP Management should be disabled on your network. However, there are some cases where it may be required.

Domotz looks at which devices are receiving open ports from the UPnP server and alerts you to these devices and the ports they have open. Receive alerts about this information and then decide to accept or reject this potential vulnerability. As with Open Port Monitoring, if you reject the vulnerability within Domotz and this issue reappears, the software will alert you again at the next scan.

5) Device IP Address Monitoring

Domotz primarily scans networks at a Layer-2 level (Data Link/MAC Addressing). However, this network monitoring system also looks for information on Layer-3 (Network/IP Addressing). Often, system integrators will use fixed, or reserved, IP addressing schemes to maintain their systems when a network is being configured. DHCP may still be used but in a known range of addresses. You can use Domotz to alert you when a device with a fixed/reserved IP address changes unexpectedly. 

This feature is beneficial for your network security in two ways:

  • It allows you to know when network changes are occurring
  • It can be the sign of a potential spoofed MAC address. 

Leveraging this Domotz monitoring feature helps ensure that your network schema is solid and resilient.

6) Centralized Access and Auditing of Remote Accessibility of Client’s Networks

Minimize the accessibility to your client’s networks as much as possible. The more accessibility points you have, the more difficult it is to maintain security. 

Use Domotz network monitoring software as a single point of entry into your client’s network. 

Features like VPN on Demand and Remote Connection, give you complete access and control of systems on the network and the ability to leverage 3rd party tools as appropriate. Furthermore, Domotz logs each and every team member/field operator that remotely accesses your client’s networks.

A date and time stamp is made for each individual connection, as well as what device was remotely accessed. This feature provides you, as an MSP, a historical record of what you and your employees have accessed in your client’s network. In addition, access can be controlled easily through your Domotz portal. You can quickly change roles and access if a member leaves your company or their role changes.

This ability to log access helps show your customer how you continue to maintain their network and systems as described by any Service Level Agreement (SLA) you have in place.

7) Configuration Monitoring of Network Infrastructure Devices

Configuration associated with the network devices can also be critical for network security. For example, managed switches, Wi-Fi access points, routers, and firewalls. When the configuration files associated with these critical network devices change, Domotz can alert you. It is essential that you configure these devices correctly in the first place. Furthermore, Domotz can alert you when the device configuration file has been updated or modified. This feature allows you to stay on top of these critical devices, see what has been modified, and revert to previous configuration files as appropriate.

8) Firmware Upgrades and Patch Management

Management of network devices not only means ensuring proper configuration of the systems and devices but also means ensuring that these devices have the latest firmware and security updates. It is imperative that you, safeguard your client’s networks by keeping the devices and systems you install up to date. When a system update is made available by a manufacturer, Domotz makes it easy for you securely connect to that system remotely and issue the update. Leveraging features like VPN on Demand makes it easy to connect to multiple devices simultaneously and issue updates, whether this is through direct connectivity to one or more devices, or by using the 3rd-Party tool associated with a manufacturer and device.

9) Monitoring of Physical Security Systems

Part of maintaining any company’s network security standards is making sure that there is also a physical security system in place. While all businesses will have locks on the doors, most businesses will not have access-controlled doors, locks, and gates, along with remote security cameras and video recorders.

Today’s systems are network-controlled and operated. These systems are often on a separate VLAN, they should still be monitored for online/offline status. In fact, these security systems are extremely important to the operation of any business and therefore should be treated as critically important networks. Domotz tells you immediately when one of these systems goes offline, allowing you to take action before the issue occurs. Furthermore, Domotz allows you to capture a snapshot at any time from the remote security cameras you are monitoring. By doing this, you know whether the IP security camera is online and functioning as expected.

Learn more on how Domotz can help you with security camera monitoring and unified communications monitoring.

To sum up, a network monitoring system can help you solve mission-critical problems. In other words, it helps you keep the safety of your network infrastructure. It acts as a further mechanism for issue prevention. In addition, you can also use your monitoring system to analyze your network security posture, so you can take preventative to improve it too.

No business can be completely safe from attacks, or viruses, but having a good set of security best practices in place combined with reliable network monitoring software can make a difference.

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