|The process of having your system’s performance and security
evaluated by an outside monitoring agency.
Most businesses monitor their systems with an inexpensive, in-house monitoring device: their users. No complaints equal no worries (that’s about as mathematical as this chapter will get). For these companies, detecting minor problems is simply not a priority, but like tooth cavities, many of the worst problems start small. By the time the pain hits, you’re looking at serious drilling or possibly a root canal.
“Systems and Network Monitoring,” discusses monitoring the systems and services on your network. Criteria are provided for figuring out what you should be monitoring, and the chapter covers the tools that can help monitor systems and services on your network. The chapter also notes that these tools are rather expensive and not always appropriate, which leaves you in a jam if you need to monitor but don’t want to spend a fortune.
Luckily, many computer systems and network devices can be monitored remotely, and plenty of companies provide outsourced monitoring services. These companies have assumed the cost of building and staffing multimillion-dollar monitoring systems in the hopes of capitalizing on economies of scale.
A monitoring company can send critical diagnostic information securely from your network to their external network. They see everything your own information technology (IT) staff would see, assuming you implemented your own high-end
monitoring system. Often this can be done transparently by plugging a “black box” into one or more strategic locations, although some network topologies will require reconfiguration and additional hardware and software.
The above information is the start of a chapter in "Network Security Illustrated," published by McGraw-Hill and available from amazon.com, as well as your local bookstore. The book goes into much greater depth on this topic. To learn more about the book and what it covers, click here.
Below, you'll find links to online resources that supplement this portion of the book.