Blog & Details page

Vimukthi Dissanayake

Posted on 16 March, 2023

Intro to Automated Anomaly Detection

Effective network monitoring is an essential aspect of ensuring the smooth functioning and security of any network.

Effective network monitoring is an essential aspect of ensuring the smooth functioning and security of any network. By constantly monitoring various vectors such as network traffic, resource usage, and security logs, IT teams can detect any anomalies or unusual behavior that may indicate a potential issue. The primary goal of network monitoring is to identify and resolve any issues before they cause major disruptions to the network’s reliability. This helps organizations to proactively handle performance issues, system downtimes, and other faults that are lurking on the horizon without having to come face-to-face with a major failure that could halt the services provided or result in the loss of valuable data. With the right network monitoring in place, organizations can ensure that their systems are running optimally, that data is secure, and that their users have a seamless and uninterrupted experience.

Anomalies in network monitoring refer to any deviation from the normal behavior of the network. These can include high resource usage, suspicious network traffic patterns, and other unusual activity. It is essential to identify these anomalies since they can indicate potential security threats or issues with network performance. However, it’s important to note that what may be considered an anomaly in one context or during a certain time window may not be in another. For example, high CPU usage on a build server in a software development company during working hours may not be considered an anomaly, but it may be if it occurs during a holiday. Similarly, high resource usage may be a normal occurrence in an entertainment park on a holiday. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the context in which the anomaly occurs to assess its significance accurately. Network monitoring tools that leverage AI/ML algorithms can help differentiate between normal and abnormal network behavior by learning from past activity and predicting future patterns, making it easier to identify potential threats or performance issues.

Traditionally, network monitoring was a manual process that involved monitoring various vectors and identifying anomalies through visual inspection. However, as networks have grown in size and complexity, manual monitoring has become increasingly difficult and time-consuming. This has led to the development of automated network monitoring systems that leverage the power of machine learning and statistical methods to detect anomalies. These algorithms can quickly identify unusual patterns of activity that might indicate a security breach or other type of problem, allowing IT teams to respond more quickly and effectively. Furthermore, some monitoring tools use AI and ML to predict potential issues before they occur, enabling proactive maintenance and reducing downtime.

One of the primary benefits of using AI in anomaly detection for network monitoring is the ability to analyze large amounts of data in real time. This has become especially important in today’s world, where cyber threats are growing in sophistication and frequency. AI/ML-based monitoring tools can help detect and prevent attacks before they cause significant damage. With these advanced monitoring tools in place, IT teams can gain a better understanding of their networks, detect issues faster, and reduce the risk of data loss and downtime, allowing them to be more efficient in their daily operations. In addition, these anomaly detection systems can also learn and adapt to changes in the network over time. This means that they can become more accurate in detecting anomalies as they gain more data and experience. By continuously learning from the data, these systems can become more adept at identifying and predicting potential issues before they occur, thus providing better network protection. This ability to continuously learn and adapt is a significant advantage over traditional rule-based systems, which require manual updates to keep up with changes in the network. Overall, AI-powered anomaly detection offers a more effective, efficient, and scalable approach to network monitoring, reducing the risk of cyber-attacks and other issues that can disrupt business operations.

However, AI is not a silver bullet we can use anywhere anytime for any scenario, there are also potential drawbacks to using ML in network monitoring. One of the biggest concerns is the potential for false positives, where the system flags a non-issue as an anomaly. Another concern is that AI-based systems can be vulnerable to attacks, such as adversarial examples, where an attacker crafts input specifically designed to fool the system. Also, another point that makes the user uneasy about this type of algorithm may be the lack of transparency as it may be viewed as a black box and harder to interpret especially for a non-technical user. But most of these issues could be circumvented by using a hybrid and clustered approach when implementing and releasing a such feature, where we could use human intervention with a learning period. And carefully selecting the matrices to watch.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize network monitoring and anomaly detection. By automating the process and analyzing large amounts of data in real-time, AI-based systems can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of anomaly detection. However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks and ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect against attacks. As the field of AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more advanced, sophisticated, and accurate anomaly detection which can greatly reduce the human effort we need to put into monitoring our networks.

30 Day Free Trial

Get hands-on experience with ThirdEye for 30 day free of cost and assess it
by using our evaluation license.