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Network management software is not a direct cybersecurity threat. In fact, it is usually legitimate software employed by businesses and corporations to monitor their network traffic and to optimize their IT sector. However, from a regular user’s perspective, it is always necessary to know whether the network they are using is being monitored. If network management tools are employed, it would be best to avoid visiting websites that require you to enter sensitive private information to access their services. But let us start from the very beginning.
The more devices a company or an institution has connected to one network, the harder it is to ensure that the network routing is stable. It requires more resources and more hands in their IT team. Consequently, this is where a network management tool could become handy. Such tools can ensure that the device communication within the network is coherent and systematic. It does not matter what kind of device we are talking about here; with a network management tool, it is possible to maintain smooth communication between computers, printers, phone systems, and other types of devices. In other words, these tools provision new network devices and map features of the target network.
As it is harder to manage a big network without proper tools, it is also challenging to ensure its security too. Consequently, network management tools can be used to maintain network security because they help monitor traffic. In other words, with network management tools, their users can see when someone tries to access unauthorized information or files.
This sounds like a good idea when someone tries to access the network from the outside, but there are two sides of the same coin here. As mentioned in the first paragraph, this monitoring goes both ways. If someone is using a computer on a monitored network, their web activity, browsing history, and in some cases, even keystrokes could be logged as well. Thus, it is important to know whether you work on a monitored network or not. Refrain from visiting websites for personal use (like online banking, your medical institution sites, etc.) when you are at work because the information you enter might end up getting logged unwittingly, too.
To take everything into account, network management tools are programs that are usually used by entities that need to manage their IT networks. There is an extensive list of network management programs to choose from, and it is up to the said entities to select the software that meets their needs the best.
Network management tools offer around-the-clock monitoring of the network, which otherwise would be a lot more challenging to achieve without full automation. They can also alert the IT teams about potential signs of bigger security issues. They help to gather information about the network, which can, later on, be used to make forecasts about what the network might need in the future. And finally, network monitoring tools may minimize the outside threats that could be targeting the information stored within the network.
Needless to say, the essence of network monitoring tools could be applied in espionage and other criminal acts within cyberspace. But at its core, network monitoring software is not malicious. Potential privacy risks just call for higher user awareness and implementation of security measures. This is also one of the reasons management tools often come hand in hand with anti-malware software. Several types of security applications put more hurdles in the trespasser’s way.