What is Network Discovery?

What is Network Discovery?

While we would all like to think that our networks are perfectly maintained and documented, the reality is that sometimes you lose track of them. In some cases, the network can grow so fast that it has trouble keeping up. The solution to this problem is to use a Network Discovery tool to ensure that the network structure is always documented.

This becomes increasingly important if you use combinations of virtual networks, cloud servers and wired and wireless networks, as hybrid network topology can become very complex.

So what is Network Discovery?

The first aspect of Network Discovery is to find all IP addresses in the network, including static, dynamic, reserved and abandoned IP addresses that can be reassigned. The importance of discovering this part of the network is twofold:

  • First, it helps ensure that all assigned IP addresses are valid and are not being used by a malicious device;
  • Second, the network is configured in the most efficient way, by not leaving IP addresses or subnets abandoned to be used for other purposes.

Network discovery determines which ports are in use and which ports are open on each device. If a device has open ports that are not necessary for the device to be used, this could be a security issue. Using network discovery to map ports on the network can help ensure that unnecessary ports are kept closed to prevent access by an intruder.

The next part of the process is to find out how all the devices on the network are connected and in what topology. Understanding and mapping the network in this way can help find bottlenecks and keep track of each device and its performance.

Why do you need network discovery tools?

It is possible to perform network discovery manually, although the risks are that errors will be made and parts of the network will not be accurately mapped or monitored. And, without the help of tools such as redborder, troubleshooting performance issues can be a long and tedious process. Their use will also free up the security manager and the team to concentrate on other things or to work on improving the network.

Discovering and tracking network performance metrics is vital to ensure that the network is running smoothly and is free from failures or availability issues.

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