Unlocking Network Traffic Visibility with Cisco Devices


“Is it possible to utilize a Cisco device for network traffic analysis and monitoring?”


Absolutely, Cisco devices are well-equipped for network traffic analysis and monitoring, a process crucial for maintaining the health and security of a network. Network Traffic Analysis (NTA) solutions, also known as Network Detection and Response (NDR) or Network Analysis and Visibility (NAV), are integral components of Cisco’s product offerings.

NTA solutions provided by Cisco continuously analyze network telemetry and/or flow records, such as NetFlow. They employ machine learning and behavioral analytics to establish a baseline of what constitutes normal network behavior within an organization. When deviations from this baseline occur, indicating potential threats, these tools alert the security team.

Why Do You Need an NTA Solution?

The primary reason to implement an NTA solution is visibility. Cisco’s NTA solutions can analyze all entities or devices on your network, whether managed or unmanaged. They ingest telemetry from various network devices, including routers, switches, and firewalls, to understand “normal” behavior and how the network is accessed and utilized. This visibility is crucial for risk management and developing mitigation strategies, such as network segmentation for zero trust.

How Does NTA Improve Security?

Once a baseline of normal behavior is established, Cisco’s NTA solutions can quickly alert organizations to anomalous behavior, whether the threat originates from outside or inside the network. This early detection is vital for mitigating security incidents. Furthermore, NTA can attribute malicious behavior to specific IPs and perform forensic analysis to track how the threat has moved within the organization.

What to Look for in an NTA Solution?

When selecting an NTA solution, look for unified visibility driven by context. This means the solution should not only provide visibility into the network but also offer context, such as user identities, device interactions, network access locations, and data sharing details. This context-driven visibility is critical for security teams to form effective risk management strategies.

In conclusion, Cisco devices, with their advanced NTA capabilities, are powerful tools for monitoring and analyzing network traffic. They provide the necessary visibility and context to detect and respond to network anomalies, ensuring the security and efficiency of an organization’s network infrastructure.

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