business security

Introducing a new tool for businesses to better understand their networks

Even before Wi-Fi networks, knowing what was actually on the network was a challenge — today, that challenge has become all the greater

A key rule in security is that you can only secure what you can see.

In that regard, one of the oldest and biggest challenges that businesses and network administrators have faced and continue to face is a seemingly simple one: knowing exactly what is on the network.

Even before Wi-Fi networks, knowing what was actually on the network was a challenge. With Wi-Fi networks, that challenge has become all the greater.

Network visibility knowing what’s on the network is absolutely critical because at a hardware level, any and all devices potentially have the ability to see, capture, and even alter network traffic.

This complex situation is made even more complex now in the era of IoT. The things that make up your network are no longer limited to desktops, laptops, and servers. It’s all of those plus myriad IoT devices that have equal access to the traffic on your network.

To help manage this, we're announcing the release of a new, free Network Discovery tool as part of the Avast Business Hub. The Network Discovery tool is fully integrated and aims to help SMBs, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Value-Added Resellers (VARs) gain full network visibility.

As well as gaining better visibility into the IT network, Network Discovery provides users with the capability to keep track of unauthorized devices accessing the business network. This is something that is particularly critical in an age of hybrid working where employees may be spread across a variety of locations using both personal and work-approved devices.

This is important because today, SMBs have very diverse networks, and we’re not only talking about laptops, desktops or servers, but virtual servers, wireless access points, VoIP boxes, mobile phones, IoT devices, and much more. In this age of network complexity, a single unprotected device can be the cause of a breach. Network Discovery simplifies the issue to give SMBs the confidence and freedom to focus on growing their business, comfortable in the knowledge that their IT network is secure.

You can use this tool within the Avast Business Hub to quickly and easily find everything that’s on your network. Network Discovery uses standard network protocols like DNS, ARP scans, UPnP among other things to check your network for connected systems and devices and report them to you. Once you’ve identified what’s on your network, you can then use it to better secure your network by deploying Avast Business security services on those systems and devices it supports. This means you can deploy and update security software, security patches, and back your systems and devices up to the cloud.

To discover your network, select a site from the company switcher dropdown.

  • From the menu, select “Devices”
  • Go to the “Network Discovery” tab
  • Click on “Set up your first scan”
  • Click on “+ Add Scanning Agent” and select a Windows device from the list and then click on add scanning agent to confirm
  • Configure your scanning methods and results
  • Finally, click on “Scan network” to begin scanning

Once the scan is complete, you will see a full list of devices connected to your network. The list will include the device name, IP address, device status, and more. If a device's status is unmanaged, you can quickly deploy security services to that device to keep it safe.

This new capability enables you to understand your network better, and thus your risks. It also gives you a way to quickly and easily identify systems that need Avast Business security services deployed to them and do so.

If you can only secure those things that you know about, this is an excellent way to close that gap and improve your knowledge of your network.