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How to Detect Network Intrusions

Knowing how to detect network intrusions is a key element of network security, and a number of tools exist to assist with this important task. However, as quickly as intrusion detection tools appear on the market, would-be intruders are finding new methods to evade their detection mechanisms – making the tools obsolete practically as soon as they have been installed.

A more effective and long term solution is a network monitoring tool with deep packet inspection (DPI). A network monitoring tool with DPI can identify anomalies in network traffic – such as fragmented packets and activity across non-standard ports – to alert network administrators of a potential intrusion, and provide the information required to conduct a thorough investigation.

In addition to being effective tools for how to detect network intrusions, network monitoring tools with DPI can further enhance security by identifying malicious insider activity and access to file shares. It can also improve network performance and management by bringing bottlenecks, bandwidth issues and unused resources to the attention of network administrators.

How Network Monitoring Tools with DPI Work

Network monitoring tools with DPI use wire data analytics to extract metadata from the headers and payloads of network packets, and then transform the raw metadata into a readable format. Real-time information about user activity, application activity, web activity, etc., is delivered in context to a central management portal from where network administrators can drill down into the data for deeper insight.

Alerts can be set up to warn administrators of specific activities or anomalies that would indicate a network intrusion, allowing administrators to review the relevant packet metadata in detail. Network monitoring tools with DPI also store the data in a build-in database, so that if an intrusion is identified at a later date, administrators can conduct a historical forensic investigation.

The advantage network monitoring tools with DPI have over statistical analysis tools to detect network intrusions is that DPI provides complete visibility. Statistical analysis tools only provide top level data about the flow of network traffic and fail to identify applications operating over non-standard ports – leaving back doors wide open for would-be intruders to enter undetected.

The Importance of Agent-Free Intrusion Detection Tools

Agent-based network monitoring can be expensive and have a high maintenance overhead. Software has to be installed and managed on each device connected to the network and – in a large organization – that can place a significant strain on IT resources. In an organization that promotes a BYOD policy or provides a publicly-accessible WiFi network, agent-based intrusion detection tools are impractical, as software has to be installed on all end users´ personal devices in order that their activity is monitored.

When end users connect to the network, it could be possible their personal devices are compromised and act as a gateway to an intruder. By providing complete visibility, agent-free intrusion detection tools are an effective solution to the issue of how to detect network intrusions on a large or wireless network. They are also a solution for how to detect network intrusions at remote sites if sensors to monitor network activity and send data to the central management portal are installed on the remote hardware.

The level of visibility and historical reporting provided by agent-free network monitoring tools with DPI helps organizations in regulated industries comply with data security and privacy standards. Network administrators can use the real-time information provided by the tools to conduct risk assessments, and  schedule reports by individual user, user groups, IP address, subnet, file name or web address, in order to demonstrate their compliance efforts towards data security and integrity.

Learn How to Detect Network Intrusions with LANGuardian

LANGuardian is an agent-free network monitoring tool with DPI and content-based application recognition that delivers network administrators with complete visibility over their networks in a phenomenal depth of detail. Quick to download and deploy on standard server hardware or VMware, LANGuardian connects to the network via the core switch and a SPAN or mirror port to provide a continuous health check on network and user activity.

Without interacting with other devices on the network or impeding network performance, LANGuardian lets network administrators know what is really going on in their networks via a single-view dashboard. Network administrators can take advantage of LANGuardian´s versatile alert, search and report mechanisms to detect network intrusions and conduct forensics to identify the root causes of network issues – consequently enhancing the performance and management of the network.

If you are struggling with the issue of how to detect network intrusions, we invite you to try LANGuardian for free. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply download your free trial now. You will be able to evaluate the merits of our agent-free network monitoring tool with DPI over the next thirty days with no credit cards required nor contracts to sign. At the end of the trial period, we offer competitive subscription packages based on the number of network users.

To learn more about how to detect network intrusions with LANGuardian before starting your free trial, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our experienced technical support team can be reached by phone, live chat, email or online contact form to discuss your requirements and answer any questions about improving intrusion detection, enhancing network performance and simplifying network management.


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