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Keeping PCAPs secure in cloud-managed networks

Watch the video of our LinkedIn Live Event with Tom Peterson about why and how to secure pcaps in your cloud-managed environment:

For vendors of cloud-managed networks and cybersecurity systems, packet capture (PCAP) files are invaluable for understanding detailed network events. Their sensitivity makes them a critical security asset. However, the richness of data contained within PCAP files also makes them a significant security liability if not managed correctly.

The security of packet capture files is as important as the security of their data. PCAP files hold comprehensive data about network traffic, potentially including everything from financial transactions to confidential communications. Even encrypted network traffic captured in PCAP files can expose sensitive details like network addresses and port IDs, providing hackers valuable insights into a network's infrastructure. Properly handling and securing of this data is not just about best practices - it is necessary to maintain privacy and comply with regulations like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and GDPR.

Keeping captures secure within cloud-managed network platforms

Here are some of the most essential things to consider when deciding how to handle PCAPs in your solution and what customers should ask for when considering a cloud-managed network or cybersecurity solution for their organization.

  1. Enterprises should centralize captures in one place - Centralizing PCAPs in a secure, managed environment as part of the existing cloud infrastructure minimizes the risk of data breaches. This approach prevents PCAPs from being downloaded and stored locally or shared via insecure methods, which can expose sensitive information.
  2. Creators of cloud-managed network and security solutions should embed more analysis within their applications - Allowing for the analysis of PCAPs within the context of existing applications avoids downloading PCAPs and supports a more seamless workflow for users who must use that data to resolve issues or investigate incidents. This helps maintain focus and efficiency without toggling between multiple tools, which can introduce security gaps.
  3. IT managers should purchase tools that fight against “shadow IT” - When evaluating new products, choose cloud-managed network and cybersecurity solutions that prioritize the security and privacy of your corporate data over alternatives that do not. This will ensure your users don’t turn to insecure alternatives when dealing with the difficult but necessary task of analyzing packet capture data. If users don’t have an easy way to do something, they’ll try anyway, probably in less secure ways.

Securely handling PCAPs is a strategic necessity

We created Packet Viewer because we believe in the need to keep packet capture data secure while still enabling access to solve problems. Cloud-managed platforms for network management (especially Wi-Fi) and cybersecurity are the modern way IT and cybersecurity teams manage their resources. 

By integrating PCAP analysis directly within secure cloud-managed solutions, your customers will benefit from enhanced network troubleshooting capabilities while ensuring that sensitive data remains protected. This strategic approach aligns with best practices and supports the operational needs of modern IT and cybersecurity teams. Packet Viewer is an essential component of any cloud-managed networking or cybersecurity platform.