4 Ways Network Monitoring Keeps Utilities Safe

network monitoringIt’s no secret that people are concerned about the security of the U.S. power grid. Cyber criminals are always looking to exploit weaknesses in systems and networks. And unless you’re looking for malicious activity, you may not even know that your networks have been breached.

Network monitoring can be used to detect unusual behavior and provide your organization with detail on threats related to your network activity. Here are four ways that network monitoring can help keep utilities safe.

Automated Alerts on Network Threats

Network monitoring relies on signature sets to detect malicious activity. A signature is a set of rules that an intrusion detection system (IDS) uses to detect typical intrusive activity, such as DoS attacks. An IDS can accurately and automatically identify and report malicious activity.

Detect Deviations from Healthy Network Activity

When network activity is examined over a period of time, it can be analyzed to identify ongoing trends and new malicious activity. Data can be converted into a netflow format for efficient storage. Netflow allows for storage of key pieces of historical data while trying to keep file sizes more manageable. Think of it like your cellular phone bill. You receive information about the numbers called, time, date, and length, but not a transcription of each call. Analysts review previous network activity and use statistical models search for specific threats or activity related to newly-released signatures.

Discover Network Reconnaissance Attempts

Testing a computer network for potential vulnerabilities is known as network reconnaissance. While network owners may test their own systems, when tests are conducted by unknown actors, they may be a precursor to malicious attacks. The intruder takes information learned from the attack to discover the network’s vulnerabilities. Network monitoring can identify this activity.

Watch for Current and Future Threats

Signature sets are regularly updated from a variety of sources. CIS, for example, maintains thousands of signatures from its own Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), commercial and open source signatures, and advanced persistent threat (APT) indicators. Regularly updated signature sets enable analysists to continue to pinpoint derivations from healthy network activity.

Albert is a unique network monitoring solution that provides automated alerts on both traditional and advanced network threats, allowing organizations to respond quickly when their data may be at risk. 24x7 network monitoring is conducted from a U.S.-based security operations center (SOC). Albert is a cost-effective solution for U.S. State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial governments, including public power utilities.

Learn more about Albert, a network monitoring solution for utilities

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