The primary function of a network event correlation tool is to look at events happening on a network in real time and provide context to the correlations amongst them. This can be anything from repeated attempted logins of the same user name onto a computer on the network, to events stemming from the running of multiple applications simultaneously. The task of protecting your company’s networks is one that should be taken with the utmost seriousness and is often IT professionals most grave concern. By finding the best network event correlation tool to fit your company’s needs and size, you can rest easier knowing that you have taken all of the steps necessary to monitor incoming threats that put both your company’s security and efficiency in danger if not tracked and analyzed correctly. Today we will take a look at some of the most important features to think about before purchasing your network event correlation tool.
One feature to consider is the ability for your network event correlation tool to in real-time consolidate and archive all of the action into what are known as “syslogs” straight to SQL Server or some other SQL tool that your company uses. Your assigned IT employee can then export those logs into CSV, HTML, TCT, EVT, XML or whatever other format that you desire. Once safely put somewhere such as on a local server or hard drive, the tool can then can clear the logged events to keep a precise account day after day if you so choose.
Another feature that will prove time after time to be critical is the network event correlation tool that allows for real time notifications over wide range of platforms. From SMS, to detailed emails, to desktop notifications from within the software, the quicker you and your team can be made aware of potential issues the faster you can act on them and get them under control. SMS notification is widely considered the most beneficial and useful of the options, as it can make the person assigned to the tool aware in a matter of seconds.
Generating reports is an aspect of network event correlation tools that can be often overlooked yet can be key in the utility of the product. Most network event correlation tools offer automatic generation of reports that can target specific servers or computers on your network, or produce a higher level summary of the events and some basic analysis and correlation guidelines. As an example, a report that you may want to see every day is one that shows you the time, location and username of all the failed logins that happened across your network. Using this as an example, you may be able to determine a pattern of behavior that is targeting a weakness on your network you may have otherwise not known about. With many of the software out there today, you can have a report such as the one aforementioned ran for a time period of anywhere from 24 hours or the month.
Many of the various types of tools and software in today’s landscape offer a free trial demo version of their product available for download. We highly recommend you take advantage of such offerings as it lets you see if it’s a tool you can readily use and ensure the learning curve for your team won’t be too steep that it’s detrimental. Often times, you will especially want to see with network event correlation tools if the software is compatible with your suite of other tools already in use and can the transition to it can be seamless and not produce any issues.