Meaningful Network Traffic Analyzer To Secure Your Organization

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   The modern world requires fast work in almost every field. Many jobs depend on networking. As the world seems to become one since the internet accepted in every place, it is necessary to secure the computer that usually uses in networking. Network Traffic Analyzer (NTA) is the activity to secure the computers and the network so that they work properly and safely.

Network Traffic Around Us

   Network means a group of tools that connected and communicate with one another. The computer network in an office contains computers and a router. The router connects one computer to another with the help of wires. With the proper arrangements, these computers could act as a source or receiver. The source is the computer where the information sent from, while the receiver is the destination computer.

   Good communication of the source and destination will make the information send and receive actively, that called traffic. There are three types of computer network traffic, those are:
  1. Unicast traffic is the traffic that connecting one to one type of equipment. In this type, the information sends only one receiver. An example of this type is the ICMP ping reply.

  2. Broadcast traffic is the name of communication that comes from one equipment then sends to all other equipment in the network. The example is DHCP discovery. 

  3. Multicast traffic is the type of communication that comes from one equipment then sends to some of the equipment in the network, but not to another network. The example is the OSPF hello package.
   All those traffic types could work properly as each type needed. But sometimes, an error happens because of the software malfunction or damage of the computers, router, wire, hacker that affected security protection, viruses, or other equipment that connected to the network. This small error could make the traffic-jammed and all the work can’t do as usual. This is the time when the network traffic analyzer should work.

What Is A Network Traffic Analyzer?

   NTA is the tool to analyze network traffic to overcome a problem. Since technology grows every time, there are many methods of traffic analysis. NTA is the one that focused on all communication methods, such as IP or TCP style packets, virtual switch, ApI calls to SaaS application or computing instances without server, and traffic of cloud workloads. The NTA also follows the operational technology and internet of things (IoT) networks. For your information, these networks are invisible to the security team. In a situation where network traffic is encrypted, advanced NTA will be very helpful.

   At the first time this technology creates, it only focused on what is normal or good, and recognize the anomalies that could be named bad or irregular. As technology becomes more complicated, it grows and can do more. The advanced NTA tools compare the other entities in the environment, not just the past behavior.

   NTA is the combination of intercepting, recording, and analyzing the communication pattern of the network traffic. These chains of action do detect and respond to security threats. For example, an error happens in an office’s computer system. The computer engineer invites to detect what’s wrong and make it work again. The engineer will bring tools to hack the network, find the traffic that necessary to analyze, see the captured traffic, catch and see the most appropriate traffic, and document what he found.

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   The tools that an engineer is not only hardware but also application like tcpdump and sniffer. These are applications that work as an analyzer of the data traffic of the computer network. For example, in a case when the engineer sees an interesting point in traffic of an HTTP server in a network. The engineer will do some steps such listed below to analyze the traffic:
  1. Connect the analyzer tools to the interface which is connected to the server.
  2. Catch all the traffic that connected to the server. This means every in and out traffics.
  3. The engineer will look for the useless package by pay attention to the traffic.
  4. Search for only the broadcast traffic from the server.
  5. Analyze and document the cause of the broadcast.
When Should We Do The NTA?

   The complex system requires a strong connection and communication between one part to another. Small destruction to a part could cause big trouble in all of the systems. The online network makes the attacker could penetrate their technology which is tactically modified to avoid detection. While the computer owner should use legitimate credentials with trusted tools so that this makes them difficult to be proactive in identifying critical security risks. NTA products needed in response to the attacker's relentless innovation. This is the answer for an organization to prevent creative attackers to destroy their system and network.

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   NTA necessary use when bad or irregular traffic happens in the network. This situation could detect by comparing the recent to the normal performance of the traffic. Workers that daily work with the network will feel the difference. For example, normally the IP connection to an internal country and some other around. Then appear anomaly like connections from China. This will make the alert appear. Anomaly connections could be detected as new information or disruption, such as viruses. Both connections will get different treatment.

How Did Network Traffic Analyzer Work?

   NTA that acts as the most effective solution includes some features like:

  1. Broad visibility. This feature available to monitor and analyze any kind of communication in the network.

  2. Encrypted traffic analysis. This feature could be enabling security professionals. It works by uncovering network threats without peeking into the private data. This makes it trusted by organizations because most web traffic encrypted. The organization needs a system to decrypting its network traffic, and it mustn’t disrupt the implications of data privacy.

  3. Comprehensive baseline. The data of the analyzing process is comprehensive for the traffic system and the entities in it. The data could read immediately and in real-time as the behaviors change. Each normal data or anomaly will be useful for each tool. For example, normal conditions for the server could be not normal for the workstation, the IP phone, or the camera.

  4. Entity tracking. The NTA product is available to detect all the entities connected to the traffic. They could be devices, applications, users, destinations, and many more. The NTA machine will learn and analyze the behaviors and relationships. The analytical data will be very useful for the organization than a list of IP addresses.

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  5. Detection and response. In a normal situation, security professionals should look into multiple data sources, compare it with the directory service infrastructure and the management databases. Sometimes this process needs a team and time. The comparison does get comprehensive visibility. But, with NTA that is available to detect the anomaly condition of the traffic, track the source, specify the cause, and react to it correctly. If the anomaly is disruption into the network, this quick work will avoid a wider effect. It also could arrange to give alert so that in the future the disruption won’t happen again.

Some NTA You Can Try

   The need for computing and networking makes the computer has become widely use the tool. Almost every organization use it. Many of them arrange it as the Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), or wifi. Each traffic type needs to be secured with a proper security system. It also needs to be monitored regularly to avoid disruption. There are many kinds of modern Network traffic analyzer that organization administrator can use. Some of them must be paid, others serve free. Of course, not all paid applications are the best or the free ones are the worst. The different administrator may have a different choice.

   Here are some NTA you can try:
  1. GFI LanGuard is available to use in small or big network traffic. This tool can detect disruption, analyze, and respond to it. all the data services in a centralized web, so that it’s available to reach anytime and anywhere.

  2. Microsoft network monitors that create by the owner. This serves many kinds of traffic with application that belong to Microsoft or others. Although this application is no longer updated, it was very useful.

  3. Advanced IP Scanner is the fast and easy network scanner that can apply to all network tools, include wireless tools such as router WiFi, printer, and smartphone. It can connect to HTTP, FTP, and shared folders in a special setting. It is available in a full version or a portable one.

  4. Pandore FMS that is available to monitor the network traffic, perform, and the availability to watch the work of the server, communication, and the application. This is also available for setting alert by the information of anomaly sources. The setting also available to give notification before disruption happen.

  5. WireShark is the most popular network traffic monitoring application in the world. It is available to analyze and capture the network. It does a deep inspection of many tools and is available to apply on any platform. WireShark will capture the data packets you choose to analyze from an interface. Then, it will export the data into a file to be analyzed by the other application or use the Wireshark filter.
Meaningful NTA

   NTA has become the part of the organization's work, as it was able to detect problems, analyze it, and give the response. Using NTA avoid time-consuming of intent detection like the analysis process before these application use. The manual process also needs a highly skilled person, which is not every organization has. It also effectively to work as professional security for the system, which is in the manual method that will require people that must work in shift.

   The feature of NTA makes it available to determine the method to respond to an anomaly of the traffic. Some NTA is also available to set to give alert anytime unwanted traffic, such as: ‘alert me if a connection from B country happens’ or ‘alert me if anyone connects to the database server and transfer big amount data from it’. Some NTA could arrange that this alert appears in mobile tools like smartphones so that the alert maker could see the alert even if they far away from the work station.

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   All organizations want their data system safe and the data that is unnecessary need to know by the public is secure in the database. While an attacker may try to access the data by interrupting the traffic and took the data for their own purpose. NTA can detect the anomaly connection, analyze, give a report to the administrator, and prevent all those bad connections to happen again so that the data secure. This is an effective method of network protection for the organization. It also could give an organization information about the attacker’s tactics, techniques, procedures, and innovations. The security professionals could learn the data and the tendency of the future attacker disruptions. The update of the application may help to flow with the new technology and techniques that the attackers may use.

   This could be the most important thing about the NTA, that it is available to adapt to the new technology, in the application world or the hardware. Security professionals no need to hire a team that has specialized in data science. The professionals also no need the algorithms and modify the training sets. For an organization, this is a reasonable saving that also has many benefits.

   Every organization wants their data safe and their work does properly. But the online system and modern technology could disrupt these needs. Using the NTA application is reasonable. A network traffic analyzer could be very useful for every organization that the work depends on their network traffic. There are many kinds of NTA that security professionals can use, with specialty, utility, and the level of difficulty. The security professionals of the organization network administrator could choose the most appropriate one for the traffic. Having questions about the NTA? Leave your questions in the comment below. You also can contact us. See our number in our bio.

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