As organisations rely more on their networks than ever before, network traffic visibility has become essential to protect business operations and defend against cyber threats.
While modern network technology has enabled huge efficiencies and new functionality, it also creates risk—networks face innumerable threats aiming to disrupt or damage infrastructure. At the same time, networks face a host of new challenges, including growing data volumes, an increasingly diverse IoT (Internet of Things), and more complex and integrated network topologies.
This guide explains why network traffic visibility is so important, the cybersecurity and operational benefits it provides, and how your organisation can improve visibility and protect its digital assets.
Blind Spots Hinder Network Traffic Visibility
While fine-grained network visibility can address these challenges, monitoring is hindered by the same obstacles it’s meant to solve. In a study by Vanson Bourne, 67% of organisations said network blind spots are the biggest obstacle to protecting their data.
Traditionally, WANs relied on a combination of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions and network management systems for visibility. However, lack of mobile device support and disparate security policies and protocols between various cloud endpoints, platforms, and applications make it nearly impossible to implement a unified network visibility solution.
What is Network Traffic Visibility?
Network traffic visibility is the ability to monitor, analyse, and act on network traffic in real time. Through a detailed picture of incoming and outgoing traffic, a network monitoring tool helps organisations identify threats and gives administrators insights to manage networks more efficiently.
Network visibility also helps uncover suspicious behaviour that may indicate malicious attempts to access or disrupt services. With deep packet analysis, network teams can view headers, payloads, and other metadata associated with every data packet, allowing them to proactively uncover and block malicious traffic.
A quality network monitoring tool provides various capabilities to support prompt threat detection and mitigation. These include:
|Capturing data from multiple sources
including NetFlow, IPFIX, and sFlow traffic monitoring.
|Integration with all network hardware
e.g., switches, routers, etc.
|Storage for current and historical data
often running to terabytes and even petabytes.
and querying capabilities.
|Automation and custom rules
to support efficient threat detection and mitigation.
Why Use FastNetMon for Network Traffic Visibility?
Granular network traffic visibility supports your organisation to respond quickly to network incidents or threats, protect your data, and exercise control over data flow within your network.
The ability to quickly identify and respond to attacks—and carry out detailed forensics after the fact to analyse the impact on your operations—can’t be overestimated. This capability will help you minimise operational disruptions and determine how to improve your cybersecurity capabilities to better defend against future attacks.
FastNetMon supports many techniques to help you protect against network attacks:
|DDoS Detection and Mitigation
|BGP Blackhole Automation
|FlowSpec DDoS Mitigation
|DDoS Scrubbing Centre Diversion Automation
Network Traffic Visibility Makes You More Secure
FastNetMon isn’t just a DDoS detection solution—it also provides real-time and historical network traffic visibility. Integrating seamlessly with all common network hardware, it gathers network activity data from various sources, including NetFlow, IPFIX, and sFlow traffic monitoring.
Combining state-of-the-art DDoS detection and mitigation with real-time network monitoring, FastNetMon supports security and network teams to uncover the most sophisticated cyber threats. Top features include:
1) Fast threat detection
Network visibility helps you swiftly detect and prevent malicious activity, such as unauthorised data exfiltration—preventing costly data breaches. To spot malicious activity, you can use a network traffic analysis tool to detect anomalous or suspicious network traffic flowing to or from devices.
2) Shed light on blind spots
Modern business networks are large and complicated. Digital transformation, hybrid cloud infrastructure, and remote workforces have made network monitoring a tough task—and this creates risk. A powerful network monitoring tool sheds light on blind spots and helps network and security teams uncover anomalous or suspicious activity no matter where it occurs.
3) Cybersecurity Compliance
Industry frameworks such as NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) require effective network monitoring and visibility. In its report Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations, NIST recommends the use of networking monitoring to detect:
- Cyber threats and indicators of attack
- Unauthorised local, network, and remote connections
4) Optimise network performance
As network complexity rises, configuration issues can harm performance, reducing operational efficiency and harming customer experience. Full network traffic visibility helps organisations uncover and address misconfigurations, bottlenecks, inactive hosts, and other network issues, enabling higher network performance and avoiding costly slowdowns and downtime.
5) DDoS Protection
Network traffic visibility helps security and network teams quickly detect and mitigate DDoS attacks before they disrupt business or customer activities. For example, large and unexplained spikes in traffic to specific network IPs can indicate a volumetric DDoS attack. By quickly recognising spikes, security and network teams can mitigate attacks and prevent them from disrupting operations.
How Does Network Observability Prevent DDoS Attacks?
Not all DDoS attacks are obvious. A powerful network monitoring tool ingests the full spectrum of network data and supports custom-written detection and mitigation rules. FastNetMon’s network traffic analysis tool protects against sophisticated DDoS attacks by helping your organisation:
|Detect Attacks Quickly
Early detection and mitigation of a DDoS attack is critical. FastNetMon detects suspicious traffic patterns in real time, enabling you to protect your network and avoid costly disruptions.
|Uncover Low-Volume Attacks
Many DDoS attacks are short-term assaults with limited volumes—too small to trigger volume-based mitigations but still harmful. FastNetMon makes it easy to set alerts and thresholds to monitor for even the stealthiest attacks.
|Understand Traffic Sources
Knowing where network traffic comes from is essential. With FastNetMon, organisations can collect and study context-specific information such as geolocation data and set policies to alert against any suspicious activity in embargoed countries or unusual sources.
|Monitor Network Flow
Go beyond basic SNMP data to get the full context of network activity. Flow data monitoring provides deep insights such as where attacks originate and what IP addresses, ports, and protocols they use, supporting more granular filters to prevent future attacks.
|Manage Mitigation Policies
As attackers become more sophisticated, DDoS attack patterns are becoming harder to spot. FastNetMon makes it easy to uncover trends in past incidents that could signal an attack. These insights inform automated detections and mitigations, ensuring prompt remediation of future DDoS attacks.
FastNetMon Monitors Network Traffic and Protects Your Organisation from Attacks
FastNetMon combines DDoS Detection and mitigation features with a full collection of network flow monitoring solutions. FastNetMon also utilises several input methods, such as NetFlow, IPFIX, and sFlow traffic monitoring. With this suite of capabilities, you can use FastNetMon to detect and mitigate attacks and achieve complete network traffic visibility.
During an attack, FastNetMon captures actions in real-time to help mitigate the attack. As a result, FastNetMon’s traffic visibility functionality is ideal for analysing the consequences of attacks and using this information to prepare for future attempts.
Why use FastNetMon for Network Traffic Visibility?
Aside from DDoS detection and mitigation, there are many reasons why you should consider FastNetMon for your network visibility:
Unlimited Flow Storage
Keep your network traffic data securely stored for years, providing a nearly limitless backdrop of information for analytics and decision-making.
Flexible SQL-Driven Reports
Quickly and easily access your network data using SQL queries. FastNetMon uses following SQL schema to store traffic information in database.
Informative dashboards and powerful network traffic analysis capabilities make it easy to understand your network data. Use SQL to develop your own custom dashboards, benefit from existing dashboards created by our community or us, and even ask us to configure a dashboard on your behalf. Dashboards can highlight a broad range of information, including:
- Top network talkers
- Autonomous system dropdowns
- Bandwidth to or from specific local hosts
- Bandwidth to or from specific autonomous system numbers, and more.
A Wide Range of Exportable Metrics and Analytics
FastNetMon can export metrics to multiple time series databases such as ClickHouse, Graphite, InfluxDB, Viktoria, and more. It exports a variety of metrics such as speed (byte/sec, packets/sec, flow rate) for a specific host on your network (/32 for iPv4 or /128 for IPv6). Similar metrics can be exported for each host on your network and/or the total amount of incoming/outgoing traffic for each group of hosts.
Finally, you can count incoming/outgoing traffic for a group of hosts or networks to determine the traffic of one client or service that includes many IP addresses.
Powerful, Easy-to-Use Database
FastNetMon stores all traffic in column-organised database ClickHouse, making it easy to cluster and scale to petabytes of data for clients with large networks, such as MSPs. ClickHouse doesn’t require any additional licence, as FastNetMon is an official partner and adopter of ClickHouse.
For large-scale networks, FastNetMon allows you to export raw traffic to ClickHouse. This capability was tested and verified by our team across client networks at more than 1TBit, demonstrating FastNetMon is a highly efficient and scalable solution for traffic visibility.
The Fastest DDoS Detection Available Anywhere
FastNetMon provides network visibility and DDoS attack detection and mitigation, combined with lightning-fast detection times of 2 seconds or less. Don’t just take our word for it—try FastNetMon yourself with a free trial. If you need any help or have questions about setup or functionality, don’t hesitate to ask our support staff for assistance.
No matter the scale or complexity of their network, every business should have a network traffic visibility solution in place. FastNetMon’s catalogue of pricing packages scales with your requirements and budget, supporting the ideal implementation for your needs. We don’t limit the number of covered network devices, giving you peace of mind that your entire network is protected.
Our pricing starts at $115 USD per month. Not sure if it’s for you? Try FastNetMon FREE for 30 days and make up your own mind.
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