Stopping the Next Massive Cyberattack – Step 4: Monitor

With the rise of cyber threats, ensuring your organization is protected against malicious attacks requires constant awareness and visibility into the network’s security infrastructure. Monitoring network activity is essential to strengthening an organization’s defense against cyberattacks, as it will allow the administrator to observe network and security performance while detecting any problems or failures that may occur. This will provide greater insight into the network to help identify potential threats, and reveal security controls or policies that are no longer effective.


It may seem obvious, but monitoring logs on a daily basis is an absolute necessity when it comes to securing your network. Organizations that take this approach become more familiar with network assets, normal behavior, and traffic patterns. Thorough understanding of normal versus unusual behavior within the network will allow rapid anomaly detection and identification of potential incidents, and enable fast responses to changes in patterns.


It is equally important to maintain logs for at least 90 days.  In the event of a security incident, historical logs can be used to analyze behavior that led to the attack to identify patterns and information that may enable your organization to prevent similar attacks from reoccurring. .  Auditing these logs can highlight areas where security policies should be modified to better protect your organization.


While monitoring tools can help you manage alerts and potential threats, it is critical that organizations do not make the mistake of assuming all alerts will be apparent and automatically identified. In several recent cyberattacks, the warning signs were present, but were either missed or ignored. In order to recognize and block malicious activity, alerts must be viewed in real time by someone who knows how to respond to them. An organization that employs monitoring capabilities will benefit from having a knowledgeable, designated staff that is trained to look for anomalies and understand how to interpret warning signs.


It is essential to monitor your network in order to continuously stay protected against the latest threats. Monitoring provides an increased visibility into an organization’s network that will expose suspicious activity and alert you to the onset of an attack. Once you’ve applied the proper monitoring tools for your network, you have completed the fourth step to Stopping the Next Massive Cyberattack.


This post is part of a series to encourage organizations to implement security solutions to avoid falling victim to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can strike any organization at any time. We want to help you be protected. To learn about the Five Steps to avoid being the next data breach, read our whitepaper, Stopping the Next Massive Cyberattack.