Network forensics is the process of monitoring packets and analyzing network traffic activity for intrusion or malware detection. It involves identifying an issue, collecting and analyzing data, deciding on the best troubleshooting response, and implementing it.
Network forensics or network forensics tools typically use two methods to perform data collection and analysis: The "catch it as you can" method, where all the data passing through the network is collected and monitored, and the "stop, look, and listen" method, where every data packet is monitored and only the suspicious data is captured and analyzed further. While effective, the first method uses a substantial amount of storage; the second method, on the other hand, does not require as much storage space, but it requires a faster and more powerful processor.
While network forensics is primarily used for detecting malware and attacks in your network, it can also be used as a proactive method to monitor and identify issues in the network infrastructure, overall performance, and bandwidth usage.
With 3800 reported data breaches in 2019–where 89% of them were outsider attacks*—companies should be focused on implementing measures to avoid cyberattacks and data loss. Setting up an organization's network security system is not as simple as just installing an antivirus solution in your personal computer—there's much more to it than that. No matter how big your organization is, your network can be vulnerable to attacks if you don't have a solid network forensics and security plan.
Security concerns in your network might start as something simple like a traffic spike or bottleneck. These are, however, often ignored, especially in developing organizations, assumed to be application growth or increase in the number of users. But neglecting these issues can result in data breaches, loss of customer data, devices crashing, etc.
Every time there's a traffic spike or bottleneck, before rushing in to scale up your bandwidth to support the incoming traffic, it's important to look at things like growth pattern and frequency of the spikes or anomalies, and determine the root cause of the spikes. While the increase in traffic could be due to positive organizational growth, bandwidth anomalies or spikes could be caused by anything from a mail server problem to a hacking attempt. Hence, there is an indispensable need for a network forensic solution.
NetFlow Analyzer's advanced network forensic report helps you monitor these changes and irregularities in your network that may otherwise go unnoticed. It gives you an in-depth view of your network and allows you to drill down to the root cause of issue. Bad packets can put a strain on your network and bring it to a halt, so identifying the exact source of the anomalous traffic and troubleshooting it in the shortest time is critical to IT administrators.
NetFlow Analyzer provides visibility into your network that helps with quick troubleshooting and eliminating network bottlenecks. It uses raw data to provide better visibility into network issues over any time period, even if it's months old.
In addition to this, you can:
One of the challenges in performing network forensic analysis is the amount of data generated in a network. NetFlow Analyzer's network forensics generates reports that includes every bit of flow information that has been exported from devices, offering a comprehensive view into details like TCP flags, packets, next hop information, port, protocol, top conversations, differentiated services code points (DSCPs), and IP addresses.
Troubleshooting network performance issues can be a time-consuming process. With raw data-based reports, NetFlow Analyzer as a network forensics tool makes identifying and troubleshooting bandwidth hogs easy and quick.
NetFlow Analyzer also supports Cisco ASA (based on NetFlow v9), providing reports on traffic and bandwidth using NetFlow packets from ASA devices. This further reduces the troubleshooting time and difficulty in tracking configuration changes that impact network performance.
Network forensics generates reports based on applications, sources, destinations, DSCPs, conversations, packets, and more for any device and its interfaces for any selected time frame. In case of an anomalous spike in your network, the forensics report will help you identify which conversation or application is causing the sudden spike in traffic, including from which source and destination. You can also set custom alerts to be notified every time there is a threshold violation, helping you more quickly respond to issues.
With ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer, network forensic analysis is as easy as it gets!
NetFlow Analyzer, flow-based network bandwidth monitoring network forensics software, integrates NetFlow, sFlow, JFLow (and more), and other collection and analysis engines. NetFlow exports are collected, correlated, and analyzed by the bandwidth monitor to get granular details to monitor bandwidth usage on network across each WAN link. NetFlow Analyzer is a complete network forensic analysis tool, and with this network forensics tool there is no need to monitor bandwidth usage with hardware probes, and it is suitable for both Windows and Linux environments.Download a free trial of our real-time bandwidth monitor now!
Set pre-defined threshold settings based on utilization, duration and frequency to effectively monitor network bandwidth.
Ensure fair billing from your ISP. You could also use it for chargeback in your different departments
Assess future network requirements based on capacity planning reports.
Unearth the root cause of your network troubles and troubleshoot issues faster.
Monitor critical factors affecting VoIP, Video performance and ensure best-class service levels. Ensure seamless WAN connectivity through WAN RTT monitoring.
Validate the effectiveness of your QoS policies using CBQoS reports from NetFlow Analyzer. Prioritize your network traffic accordingly.