Tag Archives: #ProActive

The Secret Capabilities of Managed Network Monitoring – Pt 2

Speedcurve Performance Analytics Network Monitoring

Monitoring provides so much detail that it truly is the first step in network security

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on managed network monitoring. Last time, we talked about how network monitoring is one of the best-kept secrets in the cybersecurity along with how it can detect unauthorized access to your network and authorized connection with stolen login credentials. Join us again today as we pick up where we left off.

Signs of Employee Misconduct or Insider Espionage

Interestingly, network monitoring can use the same methods to catch the rare instance of an insider hacking job. This happens more frequently than you might think, but is more often disgruntled data vandalism or simple misconduct than organized movie-worthy corporate espionage. The trouble is that when the job is done from the inside, there is an authorized login with all the protections of a normal employee as the cause of a potential security breach.

However, to do anything shady, most disloyal employees will have to use their accounts to do their dirty work. The thing is, the normal behaviors for a job can also be recorded like a pattern. You don’t have to tightly watch an employee’s account (something that might run afoul of regulations) in order to flag when an account might be up to something.

Simply flag when an employee account accesses a file it has never or rarely accessed before. Or initiates a download in a restricted folder. You can even watch for the use of Print Screen when sensitive data is open on a computer. All without actually directly tracking a single account’s activity. Just the network itself.

Flagging Compromised Business Software

Recently, hackers have been getting better at finding and exploiting loopholes inside the software businesses are already using. This is done sometimes to slip through firewalls and anti-virus software. But it can also be used to turn your data-accessing programs against you. Your CRM program, for example, has firewall permission to access your database of sensitive client information.

It is then possible that a hacker could build a very sneaky piece of malware that was specially designed to slip onto your server and write a new routine that uses the CRM’s permissions to access and steal client information. You may, by now, see where we’re going here.

Network monitoring can be designed to recognize the exact way that your business software usually accesses protected data. With all the right authorization handshakes and keys swapped back and forth for security. So if a new routine in the same software initiates that skips the authorization handshakes but would have slipped past your CRM’s defenses, Network monitoring will raise the alarm.

In fact, that’s also why it’s great for patching detected vulnerabilities if a source patch is not available.

Detecting Hidden Malware

Finally, network monitoring does something that can save you from the fear of malware and ransomware lurking in your network. It can detect the illicit use of computer resources. You see, when a malware program slips onto your network through, say, a phishing email, it has to use a few computer resources. Even a very sneaky piece of malware needs little scraps of RAM and CPU to get anything done.

To watch your files, to wait for a network signal from its hacker, or to spread through your network in stealth-mode, it will need to use resources. And network monitoring can see that. Network monitoring can look at exactly what your computer is doing, behind the OS and all the things malware can use to hide itself from humans. And if there is a program running that wasn’t there before, if resources are being used in a pattern-defying way, or if one endpoint in a dozen supposedly-identical computers is using more resources, this is a sign of a hidden and lurking malware program.

Network monitoring is also effective at catching malware when it tries to engage in any network activity at all. If it tries to send collected data back to its hacker or to get a signal from the hacker, then network monitoring may spot activity leading to an unknown and unidentified program.

And if it tries to spread itself out onto your other devices throughout the business network, then network monitoring can notice an unusual and suspicious pattern of downloads and installations and trigger an alert state.

These are still only a few of the practical applications for network monitoring, and focuses only on cybersecurity. As you may be starting to see, network monitoring is one of the best-kept secrets in all of IT. It slices, it dices, and it can show you patterns — and breaks in patterns — for almost every detail of your business’s technical existence. And it the ideal way to catch a hacker at every single point of their attack. For more managed network insights or to set up managed network monitoring for your business, contact us today!

The Benefits an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) Could Bring to Your Business

Woman with beautiful smile holding a tablet and managed services concept in transparent bubble

Is it time to make a change?

No matter what industry your company works in, having an experienced team of IT technicians at your disposal is crucial in helping to ensure your team’s efficiency as well as in ensuring your company’s digital security. However, if you still have not outsourced these service, then you may be discovering that it is becoming costly, time-consuming, and stressful to maintain an in-house IT department. Thusly, if you have not considered doing so already, you should take a moment to seriously consider turning over your business’s IT needs to a managed service provider.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

At this point, you may be asking yourself what a managed service provider is, and how they could benefit your company. A managed service provider (or MSP) is a third party company that provides all or part of a company’s IT needs either on or off-site. An MSP is essentially a company that specializes in providing businesses with IT services, allowing them to free up resources within their company by outsourcing their IT department. Outsourcing IT to a managed service provider is growing increasingly popular amongst businesses due to the benefits they can provide. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider transferring your company’s IT needs to an MSP.

Cut and Control IT Costs

As you have likely begun to discover for yourself, maintaining an in-house IT department can be extremely expensive. In fact, ballooning costs and costs that can fluctuate greatly from one month to the next are amongst the most common reasons why companies choose to outsource IT. By outsourcing your IT needs to an MSP you can control costs and help to make your monthly IT costs more predictable, as MSPs often charge a flat rate fee for their services. Additionally, outsourcing IT can save you money as you will not have to invest in hardware, software, or on hiring and training IT personnel. These costs will be spread out amongst the MSP’s clients helping to make IT costs more affordable for all parties involved.

Access to Highly Skilled Technicians

In order to ensure your company’s efficiency and security, it is critical that you have access to skilled IT technicians who are experienced in their field. However, many small to medium-sized businesses find it difficult and time-consuming to hire IT professionals. Alternatively, by partnering with a reputable MSP you will have access to a team of highly qualified and experienced personnel without having to do any of the headhunting yourself. MSP’s have the resources and experience to find the best people in the IT field who will be able to provide you with the highest quality of services.

Gain Access to the Latest Technology

For many smaller organizations, it is difficult to maintain their current IT department, meaning that they often are unable to keep up with the latest innovations in IT. However, as IT is their sole focus, MSPs work diligently to research and implement the latest IT technology, and they have the time and resources to train their staff on the latest techniques. By partnering with an MSP you stand to benefit from the latest technology without any of the risks and costs that can come from implementing this technology yourself.

Flexible and Scalable Services

When working with an MSP it is much easier to scale your services based on your current needs. This can be particularly beneficial for growing businesses, as you will not have to constantly work to expand your IT department to meet your growing needs. As the needs of your company evolve, your MSP will provide you with the flexibility to scale your services as needed without any headaches or hassle.

Outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider can provide your company with a variety of benefits. Contact us to learn more about these benefits as well as to learn about the services that we provide.