Monitoring an IT network is an essential part of any business' routine processes, yet so many companies fail to make sure they do this properly.

The risks of not monitoring a network are numerous. Among these, a failure to do so can lead to serious IT stability problems, as well as performance and reliability issues. On the security front, there are dangers of network attacks going unnoticed, as well as the potential for user misuse: according to a recent Forrester report, network security is so important that businesses spent over a fifth of their total security budget on it last year.

Here we've detailed the top five reasons why you must monitor your network: 

Stability

Monitoring your network enables you to ensure that every aspect of your technology is stable and functioning as you expect. It is a crucial part of checking that systems are interacting correctly, and that there are no bottlenecks in the network where data is stuck.

As an indication of just how important stability is to companies, a recent survey by Opsview showed that 77% see the need for network stability as the main reason for monitoring.

Performance

A network simply has to perform to the levels required by all of its users, both within a company and externally (such as for partners and customers). Failure to do so can lead to staff being unable to operate effectively, and customers abandoning a purchase or not being provided with the level of service they have paid for. Businesses need to be clear about the capacity and speed requirements of their network, then use monitoring to verify what is happening. Around one fifth of those that monitor their network say performance is their main reason, though many others include it as a secondary key factor.

Reliability

Aside from a network simply performing to the levels expected, it must also work at all times. It is not unusual for a business to expect 99.9% uptime from their technology, and monitoring is an essential method for businesses to ensure success in this area. Real-time alerts in network monitoring software enable businesses to know as soon as there is any reliability problem, while the software can also alert them of potential issues that are emerging on this front.

Security (from external threats)

Businesses face an abundance of threats to their technology and their data, including hacking, phishing and other malicious damage. By combining the right security software with strong network monitoring, companies can identify weaknesses in their security setup as well as be alerted to any unusual traffic events, enabling a fast response to potential threats. On a scale of 1 to 5, where five is highly important, respondents to the survey placed the immediate alerting of network issues (including security and performance) at 4.69 on the scale, meaning it is crucial to them.

Preventing user misuse

IT network monitoring enables businesses to identify and stop any user misuse of their technology. Insider threats continue to be prevalent in businesses, particularly when it comes to unauthorised access by employees to sensitive data they do not need for their job. By using the right monitoring technology, businesses can see which users are doing what on the network, as well as receive alerts on any behaviour that is classified as not safe.

Try out Opsview's network monitoring with a free 14 day trial.

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