IT Security Mar 4, 2021

Monitoring as part of a holistic IT security concept.

IT security has grown in importance over the last few years as a result of recurring incidents, and now the talk of the town is a holistic IT security concept. But what does that mean? And what does such a strategy entail?

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Fabian Jonassohn
System Engineer – IT Security

Alongside central components of IT security such as a firewall, endpoint and server protection, e-mail security and secure access to Some areas of IT, log and network monitoring are also critical, and it is these that I shall be focussing on in this blog.

What are the benefits of using these monitoring tools?

A network monitoring tool first and foremost enables an overview of the entire IT infrastructure and to maintain it over a long period of time. In this monitoring structure, all servers, network components (e.g. Switches), firewalls, routers and nearly all devices with an IP address can be found. The aim is to visualise the availability, load, performance and status of each device and be notified of any issues in good time.

These notifications enable the respective administrator to proactively address problem areas before they become a real issue. A classic example is with hard drive capacities. Neither servers nor firewalls work well with a full hard drive, but if you have a monitoring tool to keep an eye on capacities, steps can be taken to combat any potential issues.

The same is true of broadband capacities. Another example is a user complaining about a slow internet connection that makes working with external tools, VoIP phones, video conferences and surfing online impossible. In this case too, the administrator can use the monitoring tool to determine if the WAN connection still has free capacity or not. If not, the administrator can track down the system that is using up the bandwidth. A network monitoring tool covers a wide range of scenarios, identifying and solving issues more quickly or stopping them in their tracks.

What about log monitoring?

As the name suggests, this kind of tool doesn’t actively monitor devices, only their log files and events. This can be beneficial in several ways. Firstly, it creates a central area where logs from a whole range of devices are collected, stored and analysed. If a log analysis is due, the administrator does not have to go to each individual device searching for their logs. Instead, he simply has to search central log monitoring for the particular device and the related log.

There is also no longer an issue with storing data for a longer period and using it to analyse past events. Moreover, depending on the solution, there is the opportunity to automatically analyse the collected logs directly within the monitoring tool. If, for example, the word “alert” or similar is discovered in a firewall log, a notification is automatically triggered ensuring that admins always have an eye on events in various logs.

What’s this all got to do with IT security?

With benefits such as proactive troubleshooting, prompt alerts, a live overview of corporate systems’ status and the automated analysis of logs and events, a monitoring solution fits seamlessly into a holistic IT security concept. The solution helps to maintain the secure operation of the IT infrastructure and quickly detects necessary upgrade or work in the individual systems.