File Activity Monitoring Software
File activity monitoring software with deep packet inspection is a necessary tool for network managers needing to know who is doing what with the files on a network. File monitoring software with deep packet inspection monitors and records access to files and file shares; recording details of user names, file names, client IP addresses, server names, event type, and data volume.
The depth of information provided by file monitoring software helps network managers identify users who have accessed a specific file or file share, when they accessed it, and what they did with it. This information can be used to enforce acceptable use policies, prevent insider theft or accidental disclosure, or to act on threats – such as ransomware – that may originate from outside the network.
Why Deep Packet Inspection is Vital to File Activity Monitoring
Whereas flow-based file monitoring software only provides top-level information about network traffic, file activity monitoring software with deep packet inspection extracts metadata from the headers and payloads of network packets, and uses wire data analytics to convert it into a comprehensible format. The difference between the two processes has been likened to one postal worker counting mail, while another opens each letter, reads it content, and saves a copy of the letter in case it is later needed.
The converted metadata is delivered to a central portal, where reports can be ordered by file name, user name or IP address. The file activity monitor delivers a summary of the requested activity in context; allowing network managers to drill down into the metadata and see details of a specific file, details of each action performed on that file (open, close, read, write, create, etc.) and the time it was performed. Historical file activity monitoring data can also reveal when, and by whom, a file was deleted.
The Benefits of Agent-Free File Monitoring Software
There are two types of file monitoring software that use deep packet inspection – agent-based and agent-free. Agent-based software for file activity monitoring requires software to be installed and maintained on each device connected to the network. This makes it impractical for networks providing a publicly-accessible wireless service, legally complicated for networks supporting a BYOD policy, and high maintenance for networks operating over multiple or remote sites.
By comparison, an agent-free file activity monitor connects to the network via the core switch and a SPAN or mirror port. Without interacting with other devices connected to the network, agent-free file monitoring software monitors file activity and maintains a record in its own database without impacting network performance. In addition to the cost saving compared with agent-based file activity monitoring software, agent-free software is quick to deploy and simple to maintain.
Using a File Activity Monitor in Multiple or Remote Sites
If your network operates over multiple or remote sites, agent-free file activity monitoring is simple. Network activity is captured by sensors deployed at the multiple or remote sites and sent to the centralized file activity monitor. The centralized file activity monitor converts the metadata into comprehensible format for real-time viewing by network managers, while historical data is stored locally to be available in the event that retrospective monitoring is required.
For organizations operating in regulated industries such as healthcare, utilities or finance, agent-free file activity monitoring software can be a necessary tool to fulfill compliance obligations relating to the integrity of data. By providing total real-time visibility across the whole network, and historical reporting on past activity, file monitoring software can help organizations comply with the statutory requirements for conducting risk assessments and audits.
Monitor File Activity on Your Network Free for Thirty Days
If you are unaware of who is doing what with the files on your network, speak with us about a free thirty-day trial of LANGuardian. LANGuardian from NetFort is agent-free file activity monitoring software with deep packet inspection that collects and stores metadata in rich detail for multiple network use cases. As a file activity monitor, LANGuardian is trusted by more than 400,000 users.
Our free trial of LANGuardian gives your organization the opportunity to evaluate the merits of our file activity monitor in your own environment. LANGuardian is quick to download and can be deployed on any standard hardware, VMWare or Hyper-V within minutes. There are no contracts to sign not credit cards required in order to take advantage of this opportunity; and, should LANGuardian become an indispensable part of your network management and system administration toolkit, we offer a range of competitive subscription package.
To find out more about how LANGuardian can meet your organization´s file monitoring requirements, do not hesitate to contact us. Alternatively download your free trial of LANGuardian and start discovering who is doing what with the files on your network today.