Understanding what’s connected to your network and why.
Can you name every device that’s connected to your network right now? Do you know what all of those device are doing? Or who has access to them? Which ones represent security threats? A comprehensive network discovery can tell you.
If you own it and manage it, you have to keep track of it. If you have to crawl around in the back of server closets to manually count serial numbers and MAC addresses, you have a problem. Inventory should be a one-click operation.
Do all of your devices have up-to-date software and security patches to make them compliant with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, PCI or SOX? Are you sure? How do you know? Can you prove that they are if auditors come visiting?
Even if you think you know where the network issue is, diagnosing it is likely going to depend upon what’s connected to it. A complete network discovery not only gives you an understanding of what’s connected to your network, it puts it all in context. Hard-to-diagnose problems like wireless APs that keep dropping signal suddenly become simple fixes when it’s clear that too many users are trying to connect at once.
Security should be one of the top concerns of any IT team and that means knowing what’s accessing your network and why. If you don’t know what’s connected to your network you aren’t going to be able to identify insecure devices like rogue wireless access points that someone has shoved under their desk. You need to know where network access can be obtained and how – and you can’t do that without discovering what’s connected at all times.
Most system and network administrators have no idea what is actually connected to their network at any given moment. Modern networks have become much more dynamic and devices connect and disconnect from networks frequently. Users are constantly connecting laptops, cell phones printers, copiers, routers, switches, VoIP boxes, and other managed appliances. Guest and short-term contractors come and go unpredictably and require network access to do their jobs. Even devices like printers, copiers and wireless routers that should remain stable can be connected or disconnected by individual users for a myriad of reasons. And if you think they check with IT before doing any of this this, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.