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  • Writer's pictureAndré Wagener

Protecting traditional anti-threat applications with network behavior anomaly detection(NBAD)

Network behavior anomaly detection or NBAD is a security technique used to monitor a network for signs of unusual activities. This technique is designed to fit with various security layers to ensure complete protection. Furthermore, a computer program is used to detect unexpected events by monitoring the network continuously. NBAD is an essential component of network behavior analysis (NBA) that offers additional security to traditional anti-threat applications such as antivirus software, firewalls, spyware detection software, etc.

Network behavior can be defined as activities of both the network and the users involved. The network of any enterprise produces large amounts of data that can be used for network performance analysis. The network team can collect information on users activities, packets, and resource usage, this can further impact the network performance. To secure the network, enterprises need to analyze the network behavior data and detect how well the network security protocols are functioning.


NBAD can be used to identify terms of use violation on a college network for instance downloading of copyrighted material may be prohibited. The program can detect users who are downloading large volumes of data which might seem to suggest that they were engaging in piracy of music or film software. The main advantage of NBAD is that it can be used to address zero-day exploits, that can occur when the virus is first released or when people first identify a security hole on the zero-day.

Numerous companies design programs for anomaly detection in various settings. The program first establishes a criterion for looking at the network and user behavior. Additionally, with this information it can start to identify anomalies which could indicate a security threat. The security threat includes viruses, worms and unauthorized release of sensitive information.

The major challenge for an IT and network team is to identify the best NBA software to use in association with other security tools to prevent security threats and breaches. Other security software can help in detecting endpoint interruptions whereas NBA tools can track the flow of IP traffic and network packets to form the bases for normal activity, and then further look for network anomalies in the flow system. Some of the NBA tools are:

  • AlienVault OSSIM

  • Cisco StealthWatch

  • Arbor Sightline

  • Security and Intelligence Analytics

These tools help in alerting the security and network managers of suspicious activities to put forward remedial action before any damage occurs. Moreover, a competent NBA program can assist a network administrator to lower the time and labor involved in detecting and solving problems. Another challenge for enterprises is to design and implement the right NBA strategy and therefore it is vital to hire skilled and proficient solution providers like MCG.

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