Today, many business leaders are thinking about how network traffic analytics can transform their business intelligence strategy and help them make better decisions in the future. However, they may have trouble determining what they should look for in an ideal network analysis platform. By looking at some of the essential pillars of a high-performing network analysis platform, you can ensure that you get the results you need to support strategic decision-making in your organization.
Enhanced Security Features
A network traffic analysis is crucial for ensuring your company can conduct its business efficiently and securely. All major network analysis platforms provide security features such as user authentication, access control, data encryption, digital signatures, denial of service protection, virtual private networks (VPNs), spam filters, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and antimalware technologies.
These security features protect the company from sophisticated data breaches, unauthorized users gaining access to confidential information, or damaging the system’s integrity. The security features also include an auditing feature that allows administrators to review logs on who accessed certain parts of the system, when it happened, what they did during their session, and what time they logged in. It is critical to have this audit trail to perform forensics investigations if a breach occurs.
Scalability ensures that you have the plan to improve your service before it’s too late. A reliable network analysis platform should be scalable and includes the ability to add servers as needed without changing the architecture or disrupting current workflows. It would help if you considered scalability when selecting a vendor because scaling needs will change over time, and you want the vendor’s solution to be able to keep up with your needs. A vendor limiting how many resources you can use simultaneously could make them inflexible for future growth.
An experienced service provider like Sangfor Technologies will advise you on what hardware you’ll need to handle an ever-growing data set, whether it be more powerful CPUs, memory, disk space, or higher-capacity storage arrays. It’s also essential to evaluate how easy it is for someone from within your organization to scale their cluster if they need to do so on short notice. Test your system under real-world conditions by running production workloads concurrently and at maximum throughput for a sustained period to know if you’re hitting performance ceilings.
Flexibility and Customization
Each organization has unique goals and constraints to keep in mind when developing its network analysis strategy. Flexibility is a crucial requirement for any high-performing network analysis platform. Organizations need the ability to tailor the technology to fit their needs. The platform must allow for the customization of various data models, individualized node types, additional data sources, and network visualization methods.
That allows users to create unique networks that best reflect their organizational needs. Customization helps organizations meet the requirements that a one-size-fits-all solution can’t fulfill. The degree of customization should be appropriate for the business size, corporate culture, and data analysis type. Sangfor Technologies specialize in large-scale distributed systems, allowing them to provide customized solutions tailored to their client’s needs.
Speed of Analysis and Ease of Use
One of the most important features an interactive analysis platform should have is speed. If a visitor to your website has to wait more than 10 seconds before they can start performing an analysis, chances are that they will never come back. Similarly, if your user interface is not as intuitive and polished as possible, people will likely be put off by it and leave the site.
A reliable network traffic analysis platform must analyze interactive network data quickly and efficiently to gain acceptance. An easy-to-use analysis tool also means less employee training time and an efficient customer experience.
Visibility and access to data
Organizations that collect data to drive insights must maintain an infrastructure that can query data at scale, execute complex analytics on top of datasets, and automate reporting. It is not enough for organizations to make their data available externally. Companies are shifting away from siloed architecture towards an agile system where all teams can use data to fuel decision-making.
They also have complete internal visibility and provide tools and technologies that allow end users to explore their data with little effort. Furthermore, these days it’s critical for organizations to generate visualizations in real time.
Strong Organizational Fit
A network traffic analysis platform should also be able to integrate and fit seamlessly with the organizational processes. Without integrating smoothly, you may lose all the value you gain from all other pillars. For example, if the system cannot allow efficient collection of data sets, then that data cannot provide any insights into anomalies or malicious activity in real time.
Similarly, if dashboards are not customizable for a specific business context, then they cannot produce insightful information quickly enough to detect and mitigate risks as they emerge. Your analysis tool should fit your organization’s needs and use cases. Sangfor Technologies work closely with its customers during the planning process by incorporating customer feedback into the roadmap at each development phase to get the product right out of the gate.
Deep Inspection Capabilities
A suitable network traffic analysis platform should be able to monitor and log all inbound and outbound traffic and read and write operations on files. It should also be able to map relationships between accounts, including privileges, access rights, and ownership. Consider the depth you want to drill down into an organization’s structure. If you’re going to get very granular and uncover as many connections as possible, put your analytics tools to work for you.
Your system should allow you to explore detailed information about each contact, including their titles, departments, time zones, and networks. A good product will offer detailed reports that you can export into spreadsheets or other formats. Ideally, these reports are updated automatically after every session so analysts can get real-time updates when changes occur in their environment.
Cyber threat intelligence (CTI)
Organizations need to understand the latest threats and vulnerabilities facing their company to take action. Cyber threat intelligence capabilities of the network traffic analysis tool can help by providing comprehensive knowledge about cyber security threats and how they are developing across an organization’s network. The intelligence’s two most significant drivers are data collection and quality controls.
A reliable network traffic analysis tool will automate many processes associated with monitoring network traffic for anomalies, alarms, and other events. Data collection can be from external (public), and internal sources, such as logs, scripts, or IDS (Intrusion Detection System) alerts. Alerts from these tools should integrate into standard SIEM solutions so that analysts can quickly identify, track, and resolve incidents.
Organizations are starting to recognize the value of good cybersecurity software and what it can do for their business. A high-performing network analysis platform is comprehensive and scalable with robust integration capabilities. Properly implementing these tools will help optimize your company’s performance, satisfy customer demands and maximize operational efficiency. However, a reliable vendor like Sangfor Technologies will help you understand how best to use its features, integrate with other systems, and make data actionable. Our training courses provide in-depth instruction on these topics so you’ll be ready when you start using your new system.