Network Monitoring for Government Agencies: Areas of Focus

Network Monitoring for Government Agencies

Network monitoring is crucial to ensuring a healthy network with maximum uptime for your users. But as a government agency, it’s even more critical. Downtime doesn’t just affect the users within your organization but can also be harmful to the public that relies on key services from your agency.

3 Common IT Concerns of Government Agencies 

If you work in IT for the government, it's likely these three concerns are usually top-of-mind:

  1. Uptime. Everything you do depends on uptime. Police stations need to stay connected to dispatch. Cameras have to be monitored to support security measures. From office workstations to in-vehicle technology, you can’t afford to suffer equipment outages.
  2. Security. Security is (or should be) a key concern for every organization, but those in the public sector are especially aware of the threat of hackers and cyber-criminals. Every agency, from the local port authority office to city, state, or national organizations, must take precautions.
  3. Compliance. Meeting regulations, proving that you're following proper monitoring procedures and processes, and recording security measures needs to be part of day-to-day operations.

When monitoring your network as a government agency, there are two key areas to keep your focus on—infrastructure monitoring and network utilization levels. A network monitoring solution can help you keep a vigilant watch on both of these areas. Making it much easier to stay ahead of any issues and keep your systems up and running smoothly.

Infrastructure Monitoring

When your mission is to keep the public safe, there’s no time to waste. Being blindsided by network outages is not only a problem for your network users but can be detrimental to public safety as well—like if a police dispatch center loses network connectivity or an important security camera goes down. That’s why it’s critical to monitor and spot system, application, and network issues fast. Keep your network users productive and active in their missions by preventing any downtime before it occurs.

A network monitoring solution helps you maintain network health and safety by keeping a 24/7 watch of every physical and virtual device, application, and system running on your network. Pay close attention to CPU spikes, memory issues, and response times to determine what “normal” looks like. If these key performance indicators experience drastic changes that aren’t consistent with optimal or standard levels, then you know there is an issue to address. The best defense is to stay one step ahead of any problems.

Network Utilization Levels

Maintain the full power of your network by monitoring network utilization levels to ensure peak performance. Monitoring your network’s bandwidth goes beyond just internet traffic. There’s bandwidth speed or capacity, network traffic between devices, and general web application traffic that needs to be monitored. And you’ll also want to closely watch Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) utilization to get a baseline of what normal usage is to easily spot abnormalities should they occur.

With a network monitoring solution, you can set traffic and device thresholds to highlight network activity and alert you when those values have been exceeded. Avoid performance bottlenecks, connectivity issues, and usage trends by monitoring which devices are over-utilizing your bandwidth. And spot any abnormal traffic levels that could be potential security threats. A network monitoring solution helps keep your network strong by ensuring the correct amount of bandwidth is being used for optimal connectivity and speed.

Why Government Organizations Need Enterprise Network Monitoring

A high-functioning network protects and supports the work government and defense agencies do every day. 

Here are three ways enterprise network monitoring can keep your technology up and running at all times.

1. You get advance notice to fix problems before they get worse.

By the time a device or network is down, it’s already too late. With every passing minute, you’re losing critical time, money, and even communication lines.

Network performance monitoring tools allow you to identify issues before they become more serious. Software tools can map your entire network in an easy-to-read diagram. The map will display the status of all your standard devices, like routers and switches. You can even monitor non-standard devices with IP addresses, like radios or in-vehicle laptops. At a glance you can see what’s healthy and what’s not. Receiving alerts when performance thresholds are exceeded also helps you troubleshoot network issues before they become real problems.

2. You can detect abnormal traffic levels and potential security threats.

Data breaches and other security concerns are often preceded with spikes in network traffic levels. Of course, out-of-the-ordinary performance could just be someone streaming video, or higher-than-usual network usage, but it could also be an indication of cause for alarm.

Knowing what normal looks like on your network will allow you to quickly identify anything strange going on. Using an enterprise network monitoring tool, can help you drill into metrics and see when spikes occurred, and on what devices. Then you can start to troubleshoot what may have happened.

While a true intrusion detection and prevention system (IDS/IPS) is necessary to actually detect and prevent security breaches, you can help protect against network security threats with network monitoring software as an important compliment to the other systems you have in place.

3. You can maintain regulatory compliance.

Anyone in government knows the importance of compliance. Various government regulations require agencies to take necessary precautions against data breaches, prove vigilant monitoring, and document your network devices.

You can prepare for audits and comply with guidelines by using a network mapping and monitoring solution to help you:

  • Document your network assets
  • Ensure on-going monitoring
  • Manage risk
  • Manage access for utmost security

Creating reports of past performance levels to share with auditors can also be a helpful tool to prove compliance. 

Start Monitoring Your Network

Looking for a powerful partner for ensuring network health in your government or defense organization? Intermapper is a network monitoring solution that helps you see your network proactively, so you don’t lose productivity, revenue, or confidence in your systems. Because in government and defense, time matters, budgets are tight, and you can’t keep people safe when your system is down. Intermapper’s dynamic maps keep your network running smoothly and efficiently to ensure maximum uptime for services and critical devices. Arm yourself with the network visibility you need to troubleshoot and resolve all types of performance issues.

Most importantly, Intermapper helps you stay compliant with federal regulations. You can easily analyze data and create reports for auditors that ensures you’re monitoring with an approved, standard operating procedure. And Intermapper has been tested and proven to meet security, interoperability, and compliance regulations as a recipient of a Certificate of Networthiness from the U.S. Army and Department of Defense. Learn more about network monitoring in government and defense and find out why leading government organizations and agencies rely on Intermapper.

Ready to arm your network with a powerful network monitoring solution? See Intermapper in action and try it free for 30 days.