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Real-Time Network Analysis: How Does it Benefit Companies?

Network complexity is rising with the diversification of devices, services, and connectivity technologies (mainly Ethernet, Wi-Fi, PLC, and MoCA), additionally, with the various application types generated day-after-day. When a service degrades in this setting, neither the end-user nor the ISP support desk can immediately resolve the problem. Thus, effective technologies for traffic monitoring that enable the observation and identification of network flows are critical to making diagnostic improvements and network performance optimization.

Network traffic monitoring would trigger the following applications:

- Gaining a better understanding of network use (e.g. devices consuming the highest bandwidth, flows rates, etc.)

- Using sophisticated parental controls (for example, banning access to a certain program from a specific device)

- Implementation of QoS methods (e.g. application based prioritization)

- Detection of anomalies (e.g. botnets attacks)

Better insights of network use

At the start of the pandemic, home broadband use grew by 41.4 percent from January 2020, reaching up to 6.3 GB. Demand for internet services has not slowed but has grown in 2021, prompting several ISPs to adopt data caps — a network-based artificial limitation on data flow.
Data caps are a growing trend among internet providers worldwide (AT&T, Cox, HughesNet, Mediacom, etc.) to manage network bottlenecks. On the other hand, most internet users have no idea why or how they exceed their bandwidth limits. Thus, with the remaining importance of home internet, ISPs should implement new data management solutions.

The tracking of internet consumption may provide home users with visibility and insight into how much data is spent by device, service, and family profile over time. As data caps are brought in to relieve overloaded networks and enhance infrastructure, bandwidth tracking can provide clarity to internet consumers. So, if a customer is aware of how much data their normal activities require, they may start to estimate when their data consumption will grow and make data-driven decisions when choosing an internet subscription.

Users can easily analyze their internet consumption habits, as well as monitor their overall network performance and security, thus making value-based choices on future service upgrade needs. For ISPs, this creates more transparent communication with users as well as helps them stand out in competition with unlimited data providers.

Parental control

Though the Internet may be a risky environment for children, parents can take steps to keep their children safe. Parental controls provide parents the ability to limit what their children are exposed to when they are online. When searching for ways to keep their children safe online, the internet service provider (ISP) is the first place to go with their broadband parental controls.

Internet Service Providers are the primary source to deal with this matter and offer consumers the option of using parental controls to configure the Internet at the root. These restrictions are included with customer service, becoming an excellent resource if you have children.

ISPs can assist their internet users in various ways, like website-specific controls, content filtering, hardware solutions, etc. The latest offers a few advantages over other alternatives, establishing parental controls at the data center level and ensuring that parental controls are in place on all computers and gadgets in the area that utilize the Internet. It represents a more comprehensive solution that won’t be accessible for kids to bypass. Moreover, kids won’t have a sense of being monitored due to a minimum amount of parental control tools at home.

In addition to incorporating parental control devices in their data centers, ISPs can also offer commercial software to provide additional control and convenience for parents.

Implementation of QoS methods

Today’s networks are very complex, handling a wide range of traffic classes, types, and subcategories. It is vital to make optimal use of your network in this situation, as well as to identify and assign the highest priority to traffic that is critical to your organization. Quality of Service, or QoS, is a perfect method to accomplish this goal and give priority to the desired sort of traffic on the network. This has several advantages, including improved predictability, security, measurability, and the assurance of vital service delivery.

When many types of traffic are handled by a single network, all of them have equal odds of being dropped when congestion happens. To make the most use of network capacity, the network owner should decide what applications should be put first, and here comes application classification as a fundamental requirement. The network applications are divided into two groups: those that are vital to the company (e.g. CRM, ERP, business VoIP, etc.) and those that are bandwidth-heavy but do not add value to the company (e.g. peer-to-peer file sharing, video streaming traffic, Internet radio, etc.)

When a lot of bandwidth-intensive apps operate together on the network, the network becomes congested as a result of a considerably larger volume of traffic than it can realistically manage. When there is congestion and traffic gets lost, it leads to failure in serving important business applications. As a result, a network administrator’s key focus becomes prioritizing business-critical applications over other bandwidth-intensive apps that are irrelevant to the business.

Implementing a network analyzer can help collect, analyze, and provide real-time visibility into network bandwidth performance. Using flow-based traffic analysis methods, network owners will be able to easily assess traffic volumes and determine whether QoS rules are having the desired effect. They may gain rapid insights into their bandwidth and raise warnings in case of network failures thanks to the usage of continually updated tracking reports.

Anomaly detection

The availability of information is increasing as the Internet grows. It does, however, provide a good setting for malicious activities, therefore security in the network environment is critical.

Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), as well as performance assessment tools and network infrastructure monitoring systems, may be implemented to counter against network attacks coming from external sources. However, sophisticated, real-time solutions are required to secure networks against assaults such as DDoS attacks and worm outbreaks.

Anomalies like this create a lot of fake traffic which can overburden the network and any linked servers. Furthermore, anomaly-generated traffic may not contain a signature, which is required by a conventional IPS, even coming on otherwise perfectly legal ports and eluding firewall security checks. As a result, a new approach of network security solutions is required to address this issue: Behavioral Anomaly Detection or Network Behavior Analysis. These systems intelligently consider the behavior of the network and the hosts that are connected to that network, rather than merely looking at quantities of packets. Changes in network activity are used to identify DDoS assaults, worm outbreaks, and other disruptive hosts or network components with substantially increased accuracy.

Network anomaly detection is an all-important and dynamic technology, proposing various network intrusion detection methods and systems (NIDS) throughout the time. Since more high-speed network providers realize that beyond traditional signature-based systems (such as IPSs and firewalls) an extra layer of protection is needed, deep flow anomaly detection has become best practice to deploy alongside existing security infrastructure in the networks.



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