Most corporate IT landscapes have a variety of traffic types involved, like cloud, web, and video. With network endpoints interconnected, the performance and risk of handling these traffic types can also increase. Although major solutions can detect threats with predefined signatures, detecting newer attacks requires focusing on communications such as those from API or SaaS applications. With the need to keep up with the ever-growing bandwidth demands, monitoring each endpoint manually is practically impossible.

In such cases, organizations need a solution that can monitor for hitches in connectivity and security threat indicators hiding in traffic. Organizations need a network traffic analysis (NTA) tool that can track network traffic and let admins differentiate between normal and unusual behavior.

What is network traffic analysis?

Network traffic analysis is the process of monitoring, capturing, and reporting traffic patterns to identify the nature of traffic, highlight possible security attacks, and find the root cause of bandwidth bottlenecks. Most modern-day security threats use legitimate information to gain access to important sources of information, and once hackers find a hole in the network, the systems in it are further exploited.

With network traffic analysis, these harmful traffic types can be tracked, as you’ll know information like who is using the device, the geolocation of the traffic, and how the device is being used in your network with insights like source, destination, IP addresses, protocols, and conversations.

Is network traffic analysis becoming the new dynamic monitoring approach?

Analyzing network traffic comes with its own benefits, especially in analyzing zero-day intrusion. With the evolution of cloud and hybrid environments, cyberattacks have evolved, making traditional approaches ineffective. For example, lateral movement in your organization can start as normal network traffic but later affect all your devices with malware. With a traditional rule-based approach, predicting these attacks is a mere shot in the dark at securing the network.

The real problem is when attackers use false traffic to gain access to your network. You need network behavior analysis to understand the context and impact of network traffic and know if the traffic is from an unrecognized device type or from an unknown region.

On the other hand, traffic analysis also provides you with information on the applications and devices using the most bandwidth, the availability of critical devices, and what your network’s actual bandwidth requirements are. Given the dynamic requirements of enterprise networks, there’s no guarantee that a bandwidth bottleneck can be resolved simply by adding more bandwidth. With network traffic analysis tools, you will be able to see how each department uses bandwidth and decide how to allocate bandwidth to each of them.

Benefits of using a network traffic analyzer

Network traffic analyzers can be used to listen to the communications happening in the network. By keeping track of users, devices, and their bandwidth usage, you unlock a number of advantages:

  • Know the real-time consumption of your bandwidth with information on your top talkers. You can learn the utilization and volume of your available bandwidth, and allocate more bandwidth if necessary or block access to certain bandwidth-hogging applications.

  • Find out what’s causing the sudden traffic spike and if it’s a matter of concern. Network traffic analysis provides traffic information for devices, which helps you get deep insights on why certain traffic spikes occur. Visibility into the frequency or the volume of these spikes along with their timing can help determine if it’s simply a sign of productivity or a hacking attempt.

  • Gain awareness on network anomalies by setting network performance baselines. Establishing normal behavior for your network and configuring alerts to notify you about any change in the network will help with tackling challenges before they ruin your network’s core performance.

  • Help with auditing and management with bandwidth usage trends report for a certain period. Some prolonged network issues can go unnoticed with real-time monitoring, meaning hackers could be lurking in your network for a long time, remaining undetected. With traffic trends reports, you can see how traffic patterns change over time and choose the next course of action.

  • Gain insights on the activities happening across your network to decide if they’re productive. The bandwidth demands of cloud and media-rich applications and data sharing, and the security risks that go along with them, can also be equally staggering. This requires a solution that can provide visibility on what data is being shared and verify that there are no malicious insiders.

NetFlow Analyzer: Network traffic analysis software your enterprise needs!

NetFlow Analyzer is a fully-fledged network traffic analysis solution that addresses network performance and security issues common in growing organizations. The top features you get with NetFlow Analyzer:

  • Bandwidth usage tracking for each element

  • Multi-vendor-based bandwidth monitoring

  • Monitoring support for Cisco technologies like NBAR, AVC, and Medianet

  • Advanced network security monitoring using the Security module

  • Generates reports for forensics, capacity planning, and billing

NetFlow Analyzer helps you tackle network outage and lag issues, offering comprehensive monitoring, optimization, and accelerated troubleshooting. Looking for an efficient network traffic analyzer tool that you can customize or one that can scale along with your organization? Our network traffic analysis tool offers both! See it firsthand with a 30-day, free trial or reach out to our support team experts for more information.