As technology evolves so does the ability for people to hack it.

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold is staying ahead of the game with its versatile network traffic analyzer, Flow Monitor.

Did you know it’s rarely an apocalyptic hack, like the ones depicted in SyFy films, of which businesses should be weary? Instead – according to a recent report on the Black Hat Briefings by SearchSecurity.com– – it’s the persistent, targeted attacks that weaken a company’s IT infrastructure and compromise its business.

SearchSecurity.com reported last week on two researchers who demonstrated examples of hacks at the Black Hate Briefings. The duo’s hacks ranged from zero-day PDF attacks to memory-based rootkits.

The presenters, Nick Percoco, senior VP at Trustwave’s SpiderLabs and Trustwave senior forensic investigator Jibran Ilyas pointed out what WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor customers already know:

That attackers are hiding in plain sight and that they are moving data out of organizations using tried-and-true means, such as FTP, HTTP and SMTP.

Firewalls are of little use in these situations. They won’t flag HTTP traffic as an anomaly.

What you need is the ability to monitor traffic moving over TCP port 31337. WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor, in conjunction with Alert Center, provides this ability and alerts users in real-time when a security breach happens.

In addition, the new release of WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor allows users to set up monitors on multiple TCP ports (80.8080, etc) so by setting up an alarm specifically for port 31377, you can monitor in real-time and detect the kinds of attacks that Black Hat is reporting.

To download a free trial of Flow Monitor click here.

Network Managers, as you know, don’t typically have a lot of down time on a day-to-day basis.

It seems there’s always some network or user issue popping up (and in most cases it’s more than one issue at a time) so you find yourself running around trying to keep the network running and the users happy.

Monitoring and maintaining your network traffic and bandwidth utilization used to be an overlooked aspect of your job, deemed less important. But the rapid evolution of technology has changed the makeup of networks everywhere and has forced network managers to include Flow analysis and monitoring in their network management strategies.

Not only will including this in your strategy allow you to maintain control and ensure of the peak performance of your network’s bandwidth, it will also ensure your network is not at risk of viruses, malware attacks or any other malicious behavior.

A proper Flow monitoring tool delivers peace of mind, allowing you to have confidence that your network is secure and your bandwidth is not being consumed with such capabilities as:

  • Support for Popular Flow Formats: The ability to monitor NetFlow, sFlow and JFlow, with support for switches and routers from vendors such as Cisco, Extreme, Juniper, HP and more
  • Visibility into Network Bandwidth Utilization:Complete, real-time visibility into QoS and exactly how your network bandwidth is being used to ensure optimal network performance
  • Comprehensive Reporting:Collection of NetFlow, sFlow and JFlow records and conversion into useful reports which track real-time usage as well as historical trends
  • Threshold Based Alerting: Receiving alerts in real-time when configured thresholds are exceeded allow you to proactively troubleshoot and resolve performance bottlenecks and eliminate malicious behavior

WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor is a network traffic analysis solution that offers all of these benefits, allowing you to focus on other business-critical projects while giving you the peace of mind that your network is constantly performing at its peak. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here is Claudio Robles, one of our WhatsUp Gold experts, offering more insight into the benefits of Flow Monitor.

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The World Cup is just three short weeks away. But before you prepare your wardrobe for the month of matches (get those jerseys laundered will you??) we suggest preparing your network for the event.

Now, you may be saying “Huh? What are you talking about; why should I be thinking about my network when I have my team to worry about?”

You should be thinking about your network because you are most definitely not the only one in your office who has their team on their mind.

According to a study by IDC Research, the average organization wastes between 30% and 40% of its network bandwidth to non-work related online activities. Just imagine the spike the in that percentage once the World Cup gets underway!

The 2010 World Cup is the first in the history of the tournament where every game will be streamed online live. You can bet video streaming sites such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other BitTorrent video sites will be used to their full potential during these games.

And while it’s nice that your co-workers will never have miss a game at work, you can bet your job will be made more hectic than ever, reacting to bandwidth chokes  from the extra usage – or even worse – complete outages.

 

When we first started speaking with Don Markese, Technology Director of Freehold, New Jersey’s Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD), his network was “more or less a mess.”

His words, not ours.

The FRHSD was decentralized, making it a real challenge for Markese and his team to manage. Adding to that challenge was the absence of network management software in place to assist them.

“Our network was more or less a mess,” Markese told us. “Most of the switches were not manageable and I had no tool at all to help me keep everything up and running.”

A decision was made to overhaul the FRHSD network and luckily for Markese and his team, budget was put in place to purchase a network management solution. At the recommendation of TransNet Corporation (TransNet) – a trusted WhatsUp Gold partner – FRHSD decided to buy WhatsUp Gold Premium (recently given four stars for usability) to monitor their network.

“I was really amazed at just how much WhatsUp Gold can do. It really allowed me to customize the configuration of my alerts and notifications as well as my network maps,” Markese told us. “The product is very intuitive and really allows me to set it up in a way that works best for our network.”

Because of the affordability of WhatsUp Gold, Markese was able to purchase three of our plug-ins, one being our NetFlow Monitor (now Flow Monitor as its functionality has since been extended to monitor S Flow and J Flow). This decision later helped him and his team discover the root of an unauthorized bandwidth spike within one of the school buildings.

“If it weren’t for WhatsUp Gold and NetFlow monitor, that unauthorized usage of the network bandwidth likely would have gone unnoticed and continued to have a negative effect on the overall performance of the network,” Markese said.

Our job is to make the IT professional’s job less hectic . . . and to make this much-needed help accessible to businesses on any scale. We strive to deliver robust, easy-to-use and affordable IT management solutions and I’m proud to say we were able to do just that in the case of FRHSD.

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As President of Ipswitch Inc.’s Network Management division I have had the opportunity to speak with many of our customers about their experience using WhatsUp Gold.

Now, because WhatsUp Gold can be deployed and utilized in a variety of ways, each new story I hear varies from the last. But I have noticed a few common themes over the years. One such theme sounds like this:

“The phones stopped ringing as soon as it was deployed on the network.”

In fact, a few weeks ago I had a new customer call up our sales team and rave about the silence he and his team have enjoyed since they implemented WhatsUp Gold on their network. No more phone calls about the network being slow, that this server is down, that the Internet isn’t connecting, etc.

Because of the powerful systems and performance monitoring WhatsUp Gold delivers, these guys are finally the first to know when something is wrong on their network. They can now fix an issue before it affects their users.careerbuilderweb

This latest customer interaction reminded me of our history with job-search-giant, CareerBuilder. As a longtime user of WhatsUp Gold solutions, our product has literally grown along with CareerBuilder’s company.

In its early stages in 2003, at a point when the job search site was just one-fifth the size of the market leader, they brought in WhatsGold to solve their basic monitoring needs. As they’ve grown and matured, becoming the nation’s largest online job site, WhatsUp Gold has stayed a step ahead to continue to provide them the tool-set and functionality they need to manage a network that now includes close to 1300 devices.

Despite the evolution of technology and the increasing complexity of networks and managing solutions, we know that with most of our customers it is still the little things that make such a big difference. Mark Fouraker, Technologist at CareerBuilder, touches on just that in a favorite quote of mine from this customer story:

“My favorite story about WhatsUp Gold is when I was in an important meeting and was getting silent alerts on my pager about an impending issue on our network. I was sneaking out at breaks to troubleshoot and address the matter, eventually resolving it. The bottom line is that no one outside of a few people in operations had any idea there was even an issue at all. It’s just a beautiful product.”

A story like this is really powerful, in my opinion, because it shows how technology can evolve and customer needs can change, forcing us to continually adapt and innovate our product to meet those changing needs. It also shows that business relationships can certainly last as long as it remains mutually beneficial, with a bit of give and take from both sides.

It’s one thing to know that your network is down when it goes down. It’s quite another to know why it’s down, and another still to know that it is in danger of going down.

Starting today WhatsUp Gold can offer that ability; the ability to know exactly why your network is down when it’s down as well as the ability to monitor when it’s in danger of going down. No more guessing games; is it a virus at the root of the problem or a DDOS attack? Maybe there’s one or even a few users who are particularly passionate about downloading last season’s Dexter, in its entirety, during work hours. Now you’ll have the knowledge to stop these Network nightmares before they do their damage.

And the best part? Well, ok, there isn’t just one best part to Flow Publisher . . . but certainly another perk the unique insight and visibility Flow Publisher provides into your network traffic for every device – whether they natively support flow monitoring or not! No more pricey routers. Flow Publisher will capture raw traffic from the network and convert it into standard NetFlow records.

But don’t take it from me; check out the WhatsUp Guru, Jason William’s Flow Publisher video and get a complete technical overview of our newest product!

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NetFlow kinda blows my mind.

A Plug-In that monitors where your network users are collectively spending their time traveling to within the vast Internet universe? That’s amazing, not to mention an important step toward preventative Network Management rather than reactionary Network Management.

Rather than nervously waiting for a user to call you and complain the network is running slower than usual you can tell them the office’s group addiction to YouTube is the root of the issue.

Well, not everyone runs Cisco devices. We know that. So we’ve now included capabilities to monitor sFlow and jFlow, as well as NetFlow. Oh, and with Flow Monitor 2.0, you’ll get a level deeper of insight to your Network; now you can see exactly which user is going to what site so you can identify Network issues more efficiently.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Claudio Robles’ word.

Afterall . . . he is the man behind the software.

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The Details on NetFlow and Why it’s Important

Effectively monitoring and managing your network can be complicated, and there is generally more than a few aspects of the network that need to have an eye kept on them. One thing that is becoming increasingly important in proper network monitoring is monitoring your network’s NetFlow. Of course, it is important to really understand what NetFlow is and exactly why it is so important to monitor this within your network.

Ok so, first things first, what is NetFlow exactly? Well, in technical terms, NetFlow is a Cisco developed technology that provides statistical information on traffic passing through NetFlow enabled devices like top hosts, protocols, applications and conversations.

Basically, NetFlow gives you in-depth insight into how your network is performing. (Yes, this means that during March Madness, your company’s network managers were well aware of  everyone who was streaming live games during the opening two days of the tournament.) It allows network managers to collect comprehensive information about their network’s performance and how the bandwidth is being used, making it easy to identify, view and report on the details of its utilization. By implementing a NetFlow monitoring tool into your network management strategy, you gain the ability to expand upon your efforts and begin monitoring your network’s performance, network planning, performing security analysis, analyzing traffic and bandwidth utilization, monitoring users and a number of other things.

Obviously, being equipped with the knowledge of the technology is a good way to approach monitoring the many aspects of your network effectively, however you also need to employ the efforts of the proper tools. WhatsUp Gold offers an easy to integrate plug-in called the WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor, which offers you all of the features necessary to properly monitor your network’s performance and bandwidth utilization. Here is a quick tutorial about WhatsUp Gold’s powerful NetFlow Monitor tool.

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On October 1st WhatsUp Gold is extending its award winning functionality with a brand new plug-in to the core architecture; WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor (for traffic flow identification and reporting based on Cisco’s NetFlow technology). And – coming soon – WhatsUp Gold WhatsConnected (for Layer 2/Layer 3 discovery and mapping).

WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor (See an in-depth recorded NetFlow Monitor Demo)
WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor gathers information from NetFlow enabled switches and routers allowing you to analyze and report on network traffic patterns. It provides instant insight into how efficiently your network is performing and how bandwidth is utilized. WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor integrates NetFlow traffic data into WhatsUp Gold monitoring and reporting, increasing your visibility into network performance.

WhatsUp Gold VoIP Monitor
Released to the market on June 23, WhatsUp Gold VoIP (Voice over IP) Monitor provides you with the ability to monitor, collect and report on your network’s capacity to support and maintain acceptable performance for VoIP call quality.

WhatsUp Gold WhatsConnected – coming soon!
WhatsUp Gold WhatsConnected is a comprehensive Layer 2 and Layer 3 discovery and network visualization solution that provides insight into physical topology and how devices are interconnected. Its unique technology goes far beyond typical IP discovery and mapping solutions by providing detailed hardware inventory and configuration information. WhatsConnected discovers, maps and documents your network down to the individual port.

Take the tour with WhatsUp Gold
TWO Recorded webinars to choose from:

WhatsUp Gold v.12.3 & Plug-In Modules:

WhatsUp Gold NetFlow Monitor:

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The Barcelona show is in full swing, unfortunately we didn’t have much time to attend the keynotes , but we did get to discuss networking management and monitoring with a great number of attendees and one thing stood out very clearly. How much enterprise networking professionals are concerned with bandwidth management. Not just looking at the bandwidth with tools like Netflow, but being able to prioritize and allocate bandwidth to certain applications over others within a corporate infrastructure. This is something that the carriers are already doing with MPLS and traffic engineering extensions. Interesting trend.