Whether you work in IT at homeland security or the local police department, your day-to-day operations depend on network reliability. If technology fails, your work—whether that's defense, intelligence gathering, or offering public services—could come to a half. Many government or defense organizations are one step away from a critical outage that could result in disaster... they just don't know it.
Your mission (should you choose to accept it)? Constantly monitor the network to stay ahead of network problems and prevent unexpected downtime.
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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How can network monitoring help with all three of these concerns?
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Why Government Organizations Need Network Monitoring
A high-functioning network protects and supports the work government and defense agencies do every day.
Here are three ways 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.
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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 network monitoring tools, you can 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.
How to get started
Is network monitoring a top priority for your organization? If it's not, it should be! Network monitoring software gives you visibility into what's happening on your network. It's the best safeguard against downtime.
A network monitoring solution like Intermapper can map all your physical and virtual equipment on a live diagram and alert you when there are problems on the network. You can also find and fix failed technology automatically, so no employees have to get involved. Easy to install and use, Intermapper helps IT stay ahead of network outages and reliably monitor anything with an IP address on your network. Try it free for 30 days.