Over the past year, many organizations have worked hard to embrace digital transformation and have done so with both remarkable speed and efficiency. It should be noted that these efforts were in process long before the current pandemic, but COVID-19 punctuated the need for and the benefits of a digitally enabled workplace. However, as organizations worked to engrain the new normal a very significant issue arose for cybersecurity teams – decreased network visibility.
Network visibility – or the ability to look at the entirety of connected devices, applications, and cloud services on a network – is a crucial necessity for understanding everything from vulnerabilities to inefficiencies. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting work-from-home initiatives, and a massive shift towards the cloud and network edge, network complexity has increased dramatically and visibility has obscured. In some cases, these endpoints were even joined on agency networks by endpoints and devices owned by the employees which are often a target for adversaries.
As NETSCOUT states in a recent blog post, “As enterprises increasingly embrace cloud services and utilize the ever-shifting network edge, IT must deal with a host of vexing challenges.” Here are three of those challenges, as described by NETSCOUT:
Increasing complexity and rising costs. As new devices, endpoints, applications, cloud services, and providers are added to the network, the complexity IT must deal with grows exponentially. In addition to making problem resolution more difficult and time-consuming, the overall cost of maintaining and managing networks goes up.
Loss of visibility and control. As cloud services are introduced into the environment, visibility and control become far more difficult. Similarly, limited visibility and control occur at the network edge, making it harder for IT to assure network and application performance.
Inferior and inconsistent network access and service levels. Network downtime, slowdowns, and breaches have an immediate and lasting impact on business productivity and profitability. Not only that, but IT credibility is on the line when network service quality falters.
To this end, NETSCOUT recently described some ways that an organization can properly understand the current state of their network. Here are a few of their thoughts on the importance of visibility into the network and some of the resources that an organization can use to best prepare for and secure the future.
The Need for Cloud-Through-Client Visibility and Control
As rapid adoption of cloud services and expansion of the network edge put greater strains on IT, the need for network analytics solutions to improve visibility into and deliver improved control over these vital resources increases.
Although cloud service providers do offer insights on select data, and application performance monitoring (APM) solutions can provide a measure of visibility, neither delivers the detailed intelligence and insights into the performance of network and computing components necessary for fully understanding the impact to the user experience.
To gain a complete picture, IT must leverage high-quality data focused on traffic movement, device status, bandwidth utilization, and user experience. This comprehensive data can be used for in-depth analysis that leads to quicker problem resolution, the ability to spot issues and threats sooner, and proactive network optimization.
Intelligence gathered from within the cloud, across multiple clouds, and at the edge provides IT with a more thorough picture of cloud services and service levels. This can lead to more accurate cloud service oversight and validation and more timely identification of cloud-related problems, thus speeding up repairs.
When armed with detailed visibility and control of the core/edge infrastructure, cloud services, and client experiences—eliminating blinds spots—IT gains a complete view that allows for highly capable analysis. Such analysis is the key to reducing repair time and lightening the IT load.
Click here to download “Network Analytics: The Deep Impact of Comprehensive Intelligence and Insights” and learn more about the role that high-quality analytics and visibility into a network play in future-proofing organizational IT.