In modern business environments, network auditing is a vital component of IT security. Any improper change or unauthorized access to your Cisco network devices could lead to degraded network performance and business downtime. Therefore, it is essential to establish continuous Cisco auditing and keep a close eye on the most critical activity around your network devices.
In order to conduct comprehensive network monitoring, you need to take care of a few essential aspects beforehand, such as what protocols to use – SNMP or Telnet and whether there is enough storage resources for keeping all the logs generated by the numerous devices in the network. What is more important, you need to know what specific events may endanger the security of your network. Here are five things you need to monitor in order to strengthen your network security:
- Keep a close eye on changes to the configuration of your network devices, such as multiple password resets on your Cisco routers, which can indicate an attacker using password-guessing scripts.
- Audit attempts to log on to network devices to verify that each successful logon is fully authorized and investigate failed attempts, so you can determine whether an administrator simply entered an invalid password by mistake or there is an intruder testing a default Cisco passlist or a custom wordlist.
- Keep track of both successful and failed VPN logon attempts to network devices, as well as remote access to the corporate network. Make sure administrators have a valid reason for each remote logon.
- Stay alerted about hardware malfunctions, such as critical CPU temperature and power supply failures, to minimize the risk of underperformance or even complete shutdown of your network.
- Track scanning threats. While some scans might be due to a legitimate pentest that scans Cisco routers to test network security, others can be attackers using exploitation tools to use common vulnerabilities in your network to breach your perimeter.
Unlike native Cisco tools, Netwrix Auditor for Network Devices provides complete visibility into what is happening in your network infrastructure and alerts you about the events you consider the most risky. The clear, actionable information provides important details that simplify investigation process of security incidents significantly. For instance, if someone is scanning single hosts in your network, this Cisco auditing tool from Netwrix will tell you which hosts, ports or subnets were attacked and when and from which IP address it happened, so you can quickly determine whether it was a planned check of network health or an attacker conducting reconnaissance before trying to breach your network and steal sensitive data.
By monitoring network activity on a regular basis and responding quickly to critical events, you’ll be able to ensure network availability and maintain proper network segmentation.