What Is Cyber Security Monitoring: Define Its Importance, Tools And Process

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In the present, everybody is turning digital to stay ahead of society and technological advancements. Even small-scale shop vendors are now accepting payments online, as small-scale companies are embracing digital.

There were incidents during the lockdown that data breaches in various businesses resulted in huge losses.

This breach occurs because criminals, infamously referred to as the black-hat hackers, break into computers with malicious intentions and unleash malware that destroys the files and steal passwords and other vital details of the companies.

This is the time that Cyber Security Monitoring comes onto the scene. Monitoring detects vulnerabilities and breaches of data prior to it becoming grave security issues.

What exactly is Cyber Security Monitoring?

Cyber Security Monitoring is an automated procedure of continuously monitoring the activities of an organization’s network, or we could say monitoring the activity on the network of an organization that is designed to damage the database (data breaches) and create cyber-security threats.

If this happens, it will send an alarm to the Security Information and Event Management software. We will discuss SIEM in greater detail later.

Why is Security Monitoring Necessary?

Nowadays, just utilizing cybersecurity tools is less effective and efficient than they were in earlier days. Today, you must employ the latest steps to protect your company from data breaches and hacking. In the past, if a data breach happened, the company had to pay for the loss.

In the present, even if the site or application of the organization is not accessible to users (showing an error on the server), the business must take the burden of losing because it affects its reputation. The primary purpose of security monitors is to protect the following elements:

  • Reputation
  • Safety of user data
  • The availability
  • Mishandling of Organization Service

Attackers use numerous methods to render the application or website unavailable for the user using techniques such as DDoS attacks using malicious code, injecting commands, etc.


DDos refers to Distributed Denial of Service. In this type of attack, the attacker has sent a lot of packets, or call it a request that continues to be sent until the error 5xx (range between 500-599 is a server-side error) is detected, which results in the non-availability of resources offered by the organization.

Injecting Malicious Code or Command

If an attacker injects malicious code or commands on another URL endpoint or input field, they could compromise the privacy of users’ data. Identifying these kinds of codes or commands and blocking the source of these attacks is suggested.

In order to stop attacks of this type, security monitoring is set up and implemented to stop blocking or denying these types of requests.

How can Cyber Security Risk Monitoring Function?

Cyber Security Threat Monitoring gives us the capability of live monitoring the network. It also assists us in identifying unusual or threatening actions within the network. It helps the IT or cybersecurity team take preventive measures prior to the event of an attack.

The unidentified packet that is brought into the network of the company, thanks to security protocols, will be saved in the company’s database so that experts can examine the packet.

If they believe they find it to be dangerous, they will be able to triage it, and then take action in accordance with the findings and then send a warning alert to the IT group. To better understand the process of the different kinds of monitoring:

  • Endpoint Monitoring
  • Network Monitoring

Endpoint Monitoring

Endpoints are devices that connect to networks, such as laptops, desktops, phones, mobile phones, and even IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

Endpoint monitoring is the process of analyzing the behaviour of devices that are connected to a particular network and analyzing their behaviour. It can help the IT team detect threats and implement preventive steps when they observe behaviour that is suspicious, unusual, and malicious.

Network Monitoring

A network is a way to connect multiple devices that allows them to share assets and data. Network Monitoring involves monitoring (tracking) and studying the network, which will react in response to the outcomes that it receives when it is monitoring.

If the components of the network aren’t functioning properly, it means a component that is overwhelmed or constantly crashing or slowing down. It can all lead to specific cyber-attacks and make the system more vulnerable.

Numerous diagnostic tools are constantly monitoring the components and keeping the results in logs. If there’s an issue or threat, it will notify the IT team immediately via a variety of ways. Based on this, the IT team can correct the problem or issue. 

The significance of monitoring cybersecurity

As I have mentioned, the pandemic causes a massive or rapid rise in cyber-attacks. Therefore, in order to protect an organization from being a victim of cyber-attacks, organizations need to keep an eye on the network and the packets that are being sent towards the network to prevent any loss of life from occurring.

Limit the Data Breach

Monitoring the network continuously will allow you to identify any threats prior to the happening of the threat and help to stop these types of attacks from affecting data that the company has of its employees and users. Therefore, ensuring that you are doing regular security monitoring can help to detect any threats effectively.

Enhance the time for you to respond to attacks

The majority of organizations employ security measures to protect themselves from cyber-attacks and threats. But what if criminals managed to attack the business successfully?

Then, the business must be prepared to react to an attack and rectify the problem immediately after it has been identified. Since the assets of an organization must be accessible to its users 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Security vulnerabilities to be addressed

Every system is vulnerable to loopholes (vulnerability). Address Security Vulnerability refers to finding or fixing the vulnerabilities that the network is vulnerable to. It is then fixed before a criminal is able to exploit it. It includes keeping all firewalls and protocols up to date. Some organizations even have a bug-hunting program.

In the bug-hunting program, the company invites ethical hackers to attack the system and submit an official report about the vulnerability to ensure that they can identify the vulnerability and correct it. Additionally, they offer prizes, swags, or hall of fame based on the level of vulnerability.

Compliance with Regulations and Standards  

The most fundamental and essential term used in cybersecurity is Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA Triad). A company must adhere to these guidelines to protect information.

If a single rule is not met, then it increases the chance of a vulnerability occurring in the network. It could negatively impact the reputation of the business. Thus, with constant surveillance of cybersecurity, it will be easier to resolve these issues.

Decrease downtime

To reduce downtime, it is important to make sure that the network of your organization is functional and able to manage all operations. Networks malfunctioning can affect the company’s reputation and possibly even its financials.

If the company is faced with threats, they need to take action and correct the problem immediately. Thus, monitoring cybersecurity on a regular basis can reduce the risk of a server being triggered or a network shutdown.

The qualities of threats have transformed

Cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more efficient each day. They’re constantly trying to break through the security that any company sets up to protect their network. Each day, cybercriminals are coming up with new attack techniques, tricks and strategies to carry out their malicious activities. The best method to combat such issues is to monitor the network continuously.

Increase in Remote Work

As a result of the pandemic, everyone is forced to work in the comfort of their homes. In this case, the company was using cloud-based services to offer the necessary information to employees. However, this creates an issue that requires them to control access so that a person who is not authorized is not able to access the information even if he attempts.

But it could also result in unauthorized access since there’s always an opportunity. Therefore, it’s a smart step to monitor traffic and spot the threat. Any unauthorized user who is trying to access the system is to be blocked or blacklisted.

Improve the productivity of workers

Employees play a crucial role in every organization. The employee’s productivity is the goal that every business seeks. Concentrating on the IT infrastructure will increase the efficiency of the employee by ensuring a secure and well-organized infrastructure will allow employees to focus on their strengths and even complete their jobs faster.

This can be accomplished by having a security professional who is able to handle all technical duties will be excellent. Thus, it will improve the efficiency of all employees.

Security Monitoring Tools

IT team members are not always available to monitor the flow of traffic, so automated monitoring tools are employed that will immediately send an alert to the IT team when any suspicious event or threat is detected.

There are also tools that will perform specific actions if a requirement is satisfied. There are a variety of instruments that can be used as security monitoring tools. Some are listed below.

Audit Record Generation and Utilization System (ARGUS)

It is among the top open-source monitoring tools on the internet. It’s used to study the activity of networks. It is among the most efficient tools that are available. It provides a thorough analysis of traffic.


Nagios monitors hosts, networks and the system and issues alerts when any abnormal behaviour is observed. Users have the option to set up the kind of message they would like to receive under any conditions.

It is able to monitor a variety of services, such as Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP ), Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and numerous others.


It’s streamlined and effective since it did not create any additional traffic. It’s utilized to connect the operating system and the hosts it communicates with. There are many other tools used for similar tasks as this; however, these tools produce name lookups, probes, queries, and so on.

P0f is the best choice for these types of tasks since it is light and more efficient but more complex to learn for someone new to the field.


Splunk can be described as an application that can be multitasking because it is designed to perform real-time analysis as well as search for historical data. It is a user-friendly interface. The Splunk app is a paid program. It also offers a free version that has a few options and features.

It is worth one penny. Cybersecurity experts will often recommend this app to clients with sufficient funds. The big companies typically purchase premium plans. It is a fantastic application.


OSSEC is the abbreviation for Open Source HIDS Security. HiDS is a Host, an intrusion detection system that is based on Host. OSSEC is a completely free and open-source, host-based intrusion-detection application. It constantly monitors the majority of the devices that attempt to connect or access.

It analyzes logs in addition to rootkit detection, time-based alerting, and so on. Users are actively involved in the improvement, suggestions and all that to make it more effective. It’s available on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, BSD, VMWare ESX and more.

Effective Methods for Monitoring Cyber Security 

A company should be vigilant about the data that flows through its network because if it is found to be malicious, it could damage the reputation of the company and money. Thus, it is better to be cautious than treatment. An organization must focus on the traffic it receives from its network by taking certain useful and effective steps.

SIEM Tools and Software Solutions

It plays a crucial role in any business for security monitoring. Security Information and Event Management is a field in which tools and services combine security information management with security event management.

The aim of SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) is to analyze and monitor log data effectively and then integrate all logs of monitoring in one place, making the process of analyzing or assessing the data easier. It can help the IT team revise the logs and correct or be prepared for future cyber-attacks.

Some of the most reliable security and event management tools include:

SolarWinds Security Event Manager

It is among the fastest-growing tools available on the market. One of its main features (according to the Solar Winds official website) are as follows:

  • Log collection centralized and regularization
  • Security systems that detect threats automatically and intervention
  • Integral model for file integrity
  • Dashboard and user interface built-in
  • Affordable and simple cost

Datadog Security Monitoring

It’s a cloud-native monitoring and management system that includes real-time security monitoring as well as log management. It’s a cost-based tool. However, it is loaded with excellent features.

Some of the most prominent features are listed below (according to Datadog’s official website)

  • Make complex tasks simpler with end-to-end integrated access
  • Automatically detection of security vulnerabilities and malfunctions in real time.
  • Startup in minutes using 500+ integrations and 350+ detection rules.
  • Rapid response to threats with an easy-to-maintain
  • Cost-effective SIEM


It is a log-management software which comes with a SIEM extension for service that is available as a free and paid version and even a cloud version. Graylog includes pre-configured template search, virtualization customizing of alerts and correlations, and investigation workflows. All of these tools make it easy to work.

Some of the most prominent features include the following (according to the official site of Graylog):

  • Compliance Alerting
  • Incident Investigation
  • Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR )Integration
  • Archiving
  • Threat Intelligence Feed

Experts with training

The tools we talked about earlier will perform their job correctly, but more is needed. A skilled expert is crucial to the team. A person who knows the infrastructure will make it more efficient because the expert knows the best places to look and what to search for.

However, an expert with experience a person with the expertise, knowledge and understanding to recognize the threat and address it as quickly as is possible. An expert also knows what to do in order for the computer system to be quicker to respond to an attack. It means improving the speed of response when an attack from cyber occurs.

Employee with training

The employees who have been trained are essential to their function, just as an expert who is trained plays in an organization’s security. It is essential to instruct or train employees or personnel on how to defend the company from sudden and malicious attacks an attacker could attempt to inflict on the company.

A well-trained employee will be aware of the warning signs, effects or measures that must be taken in the event of cyberattacks. They will also be aware of how important cybersecurity is within the company.

Managing Services

Managing service is the main aspect because attackers can attack services that are not required. Setting up the secure protocols and metrics will aid in enhancing security. The company should utilize or turn off only the essential services to reduce the risk effectively.

Certain services can aid the organization in managing or monitoring the services that are running on their network or system. One small oversight in the management of the service can destroy a company’s reputation or even the financial loss of a company.

Problems with Continuous Security Monitoring

The implementation of Continuous Security Monitoring is by far the most vital aspect of cybersecurity. A Continuous Security Monitoring program aids in monitoring the actions of the network to ensure that the company can implement security checks in a timely way.

Identifying the most critical assets

Many companies have a lot of user data that is crucial data, and over the next time, the amount of data will grow continuously. The issue is creating a reliable ongoing Security Monitoring (CSM) plan to find important assets within the company.

The department should classify every department in an organization based on their degree of importance, such as low or medium, high and so on. In all this, it is important to consider what frequency these items have been scanned, examined and archivalized.

Pay attention to the Endpoint Activity

Monitoring an endpoint is important and challenging. The endpoint isn’t limited to computers. If the stakeholder believes they have the right to add any device they like, such as smartphones, printers and wearables, as well.

Therefore, the ongoing security monitoring system of the company must be as precise as feasible, or else it could be a major risk to the business. Implementing hybrid real-time and passive monitoring that includes an active scanner can be the most efficient method to monitor.

Selecting the Right Tools Collection

Finding out the best tools to use for monitoring security on a continuous basis is another major issue. It is essential to have tools that will take action if there’s a casualty or handle them by themselves by responding to specific conditions set by an IT team.

Therefore, it is essential to select the right tools that can be programmed to handle certain conditions, analyze the logs and packets with no involvement, record the logs for further analysis, and be able to conduct real-time monitoring.

Security Monitoring to Detect Attacks 

The security monitoring program should be designed in a way that the automated tools detect and react to any threat on their own and then be regarded as legitimate security monitoring for the detection of attacks. It is an important aspect of security monitoring.

Even if an expert is present, the monitoring plan must detect unusual activity and show information to the specialist. The security monitoring plan must be able to transmit warnings back to the IT team in the event that any unusual activity is found. Some of the most basic areas where attackers can be identified are:

IP address

When the system is able to receive continuous requests for large-sized packets from one IP address and for a very brief time, then the security monitoring system blocks the request from this IP for a predetermined period (configured by the company in accordance with their requirements). It will allow the server to be cooled down and keep the resources open to the other user.

The Identical Routine of Packets

Suppose the same pattern of packets appears coming from various IP addresses in an extremely short time. Then, the packets may be deemed to be malicious and, therefore, removed or blocked, which is set by the institution.

Allowing Access to Restricted URLs or Files 

If any user tries to get access to the file, which is on the server but is not designed for the end user, that user could be blocked or rejected.

by recognizing particular Character Keywords 

Let’s consider an illustration Cross Side Scripting (XSS). XSS attack is dependent on scripting language and scripting languages utilized ‘<‘ less than, ‘>’ greater than, “()” in parentheses and so on. If the user is using these kinds of symbols in an input field such as name, contact number, and so on. We can claim that the user is an attacker.

Best Security Monitoring Practices

Determine Events and Assets that require to be tracked and monitored

The unusual events must be documented (recorded) and tracked. It has two advantages. The first is that in the event of a security breach occurs, the investigating team can identify the responsible person. The second is that the team of security will review the incident to determine the issue and repair it.

Create the Active Monitoring, Alerting, and Incident Response Program

Therefore, only some organizations can put a team together to reject every single identical event, which could harm the system. To correct the above issue, the following steps must be followed

Active Monitoring

Active monitoring is the continuous monitoring of the flow of traffic through an SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tool. The function of SIEM is to streamline this process.

There are a myriad of SIEM-related tools that are available on the market that are employed by numerous organizations such as Splunk enterprise security and IBM Security QRadar SIEM and many more.

Incident Response

In incident response, they will set up the SIEM tool to determine which of the packets (request) is to be either accepted, rejected or rescinded (blocklist). Then, it’s made based on the structure or pattern of the packet (request).

Incident response can also be done manually. When a major incident occurs, security professionals create an action plan and make a quick decision to resolve the incident. This whole process is referred to as an incident response.


Alerting is a method of sending alert notifications to users or administrators whose ID is set up. Essentially, alerting is employed to alert users when certain actions occur, for instance, if a person is trying to upload malicious files or attempt to hack into the admin panel passwords, etc.

Specify the demand for Log and Monitor

Through the use of logs, security professionals can improve security based on the log’s content. Monitoring is a great way to ensure security. The greatest benefit is that it can be automated. That means even if there’s no interaction from any security professional, monitoring could block, deny or block any request.

Manage Updated Monitoring Plans Protocol and Firewall 

It is crucial to keep your monitoring protocols, firewalls and plans up-to-date, as if an attacker has access to the latest version of a particular service and it’s not updated to the most current version, then they could exploit the service to harm the company. The latest update includes the most current bugs that make your system more secure.


Monitoring cybersecurity is the most important thing an organization must set up to ensure that the system is secure. Monitoring cybersecurity is the most crucial aspect of cybersecurity, as only security surveillance for cybersecurity could be utilized to stop the majority of cyber attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you keep track of the risk of cyber security?
It is monitored in person by a cyber security expert or an automated program that sends an alert in the event of a casualty.

What are the advantages of monitoring the security of networks?
It keeps the IT expert on top of any problem due to its real-time performance monitor.

What is continuous monitoring in cyber security?
Continuously monitoring traffic through an alerting tool and using the IT team.

What is security monitoring software?
The security monitoring program is a tool that keeps a log of your network. It may be utilized by professionals for more analysis or investigation.

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