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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Network visibility: What is it and why do I need it?

21 July 2020 by Guest

Network VisibilityThis guest post was authored by UKFast Head of Security, Stephen Crow.

There’s a direct correlation between good network visibility and effective network security. That’s because network visibility is the key to improving your organisation’s security policies and procedures, resulting in fewer opportunities for cybercriminals, more rapid threat detection and improved network analytics.  

Stronger security starts with fewer blind spots 

In its simplest form, network visibility refers to the awareness of all traffic moving into and out of your network, as well as traffic moving within it. Building up a comprehensive picture that includes all endpoints is the only way to effectively monitor your network – you can’t secure a device you don’t know about.  

Good network visibility over time will provide you with a clear idea of what is ‘normal’ for your network, making it easy to identify anomalies, so that you can react more quickly to threats. In today’s landscape, 100% visibility is not always possible, with cloud technologies and remote working presenting a challenge. More users needing to access data remotely amounts to more access points to consider.  

Network blind spots are therefore almost inevitable, but it’s important to put the right policies and procedures in place to ensure that any new applications or devices are accounted for.  

Proactive rather than reactive 

Gaining greater network visibility can have benefits beyond security alone. Taking this proactive approach ultimately gives you more control over your entire network. Analysis of your network activity data can provide valuable insights that assist you in making more informed decisions and plans for future growth. 

With 64% of organisations stating that they have suffered one or more compromises over the last year, security remains a key concern for many IT teams. In the same report by the SANS institute, 59% of respondents also expressed a belief that a lack of network visibility poses a high risk to their business and just 6% were very confident they had visibility of all devices connected to their network.  

While no security system can be perfect, good network visibility improves your ability to identify threats, accelerating the containment and removal of them from your network so they can be mitigated before they have time to take hold.  

Supporting your security team 

Even with a dedicated in-house IT team, achieving the desired levels of network visibility can be challenging for most organisations. In fastpaced environments where new applications, equipment and devices are continuously being added to the network, the number of potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals is constantly increasing. For this reason, many businesses choose to outsource the management of their security. 

Partnering with a specialist service provider is often a more cost-effective option than hiring in-house expertise. With the additional resources they’re able to provide, the right security partner will ensure your network visibility is maximised, monitor your systems for vulnerabilities and respond to threats more effectively than most organisations could do alone.  

Find out how UKFast’s security solutions enable better network visibility.