Learn more on how to stay protected from the latest Ransomware Pandemic

What is Network Management?

Network management includes all of the tools, processes, and procedures that are used to monitor, configure, and maintain an organization’s network infrastructure. Network management systems continuously poll network elements to improve reliability, performance and security of the network. Here we discuss what network management is, and demonstrate the importance of an integrated network security solution.

Request a Demo Read Whitepaper

Elements of a Network

Network management solutions deal with all aspects of a network, such as:

 

  • Network Devices: Network devices are all of the systems that are connected to the corporate network. This includes user workstations, servers, and security solutions like firewalls.
  • Network Types: Network management solutions apply to all different “types” of networks, including LANs, WANs, and VPNs.
  • Network Structures: Network management requires understanding network communications using models, such as the OSI model of network layers.

How Networks Are Managed

Networks are managed via a centralized network management solution. This solution is responsible for monitoring the state of the network and taking action to improve network security and performance.

 

It accomplishes this by periodically polling devices on the network for data of interest. After collecting this data, the management station processes the collected information to determine the current state of the network as a whole and the individual devices connected to it. Based on this information, the network management platform can take action to correct issues or otherwise ensure the performance and security of the network.

 

Network management is a solution that bridges the gaps between various vendors, devices, and environments. In order to achieve the visibility needed, network management platforms use vendor-neutral protocols like the simple network management protocol (SNMP) to communicate with all systems on the network. Another option is to gather information from an agent installed on the device.

What Are Common Network Management Tasks?

Network management consists of a variety of different tasks. The ISO Telecommunications Management Network model breaks network management tasks into five categories:

 

  • Fault: Fault management is designed to identify, track, and manage fault events to minimize potential disruption to the network.
  • Configuration: Configuration management includes both setting up initial configuration settings for a network and performing change management of network configurations over time.
  • Accounting: Accounting tasks involve collection of usage statistics to help improve the utility of the network.
  • Performance: Performance management is focused on ensuring that the network meets service level agreements (SLAs) and otherwise operates at an acceptable level.
  • Security: Network security management is designed to control access to the corporate networks and the assets and data linked to it.

 

Each of these categories includes a number of different sub-tasks. For example, network security management incorporates tasks like the deployment of next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and implementing encryption of sensitive data in the corporate network.

Network Management Benefits

Network management solutions are designed to provide an organization with a deeper and more granular level of visibility and control into their corporate network. This increased control provides a number of benefits to the business including:

 

  • Network Visibility: Network management provides a holistic view of the corporate network across multiple different vendors and devices. This enables an organization to understand normal network traffic patterns, which improves network performance and security.
  • Fault Tolerance: Network faults can impact network performance and employee productivity. Network management helps to keep business processes running smoothly by quickly identifying and remediating any bottlenecks or other problems within the network.
  • Device Visibility: Network monitoring makes it possible for an organization to identify which devices are connected to the network, including the device OS, manufacturer, traffic patterns, and protocols used. This can be used for implementing access management and to improve network security.
  • Patch Management: Network monitoring can determine whether a particular device contains exploitable vulnerabilities. This helps to determine if patching is required or if a device needs to be protected against exploitation using an intrusion prevention system (IPS).

How Check Point Integrates with Network Management Systems

Network functionality needs to be integrated into an organization’s IT and security infrastructure to be effective. Check Point security solutions provide a number of features to assist with network management, including:

 

  • Painless Integration: Check Point NGFWs support SNMP and have built-in integration with major network management vendors. This simplifies the process of achieving full visibility into the corporate network.
  • IoT Security: As Internet of Things (IoT) devices become more common on corporate networks, IoT visibility and security are essential to network security. Check Point solutions integrate with IoT discovery vendors by adding IoT assets to Check Point security policies.
  • Automatic Segmentation: Network segmentation helps to improve device and network security by limiting access to certain devices and sections of the network. Check Point offers automatic segmentation of devices on the network to minimize the threat posed by compromised devices and to protect vulnerable devices from exploitation.

 

Check Point NGFWs are an industry-leading solution for network security as shown by the 2020 Gartner Network Firewall Magic Quadrant. To learn more about Check Point’s unified cybersecurity platform and how it can improve visibility, security, and automation of a corporate network, you’re welcome to request a free demo of Check Point’s R81 Automated Cybersecurity Platform.

Recommended Resources



×
  Feedback
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Got it, Thanks! MORE INFO