An old proverb ‘care is better than cure’ equally applies to the human health and an online server health by taking care of the server via cloud monitoring.
There are several reasons for the bad performance and reduced uptime of an online server, application, or a website; absence of due diligence of server/service is one of them. The other security threats include traffic hijacking, DDoS, data breaches, data losses, and use of insecure APIs. The procedure and impact of all these threats is not very abrupt, but takes a little time before it becomes successful.
The major security threats – both internal and external – exploit different loopholes and flaws present in the system before they are fully successful on your server, application or website to affect adversely. A close monitoring of those pre-attack activities and flaws, which are used to exploit the system will help in preventing the risk and increasing the performance of your online services. Let’s elaborate the major internal and external threats and activities that either degrade the performance or completely bring the online systems to halt.
Internal threats are normally associated with the poor infrastructure and improper maintenance and non-updating of the system components. Firstly, the poor or outdated components decrease performance of the system to create unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unexpected responses to the normal process flows; and secondly, they provide the way for external threats to exploit those flaws and do more damage to the system. The main internal factors are given below.
- Insufficient disk I/O volume
- Unbalanced loads
- Ignorance of CPU usage patterns
- Misbehavior of processes
- Overloading of available resources
- Ignorance of security patches
- Non-analysis of resources
- Unawareness about root causes of performance degrades
The major parts of the external flaws are associated with network security and system firewalls that should be capable enough to detect and stop any malicious or suspicious activity from exploiting the internal loopholes. The main external threats are listed below.
- Use of non-secure external APIs
- Rolling out of updates without proper study and testing
- Use of outdated security tools and systems.
- An improper security policy implemented in firewalls
The external attacks are normally used to exploit above mentioned internal and external flaws of the online systems to get access to the system and then, fully overwhelm the entire system and its security mechanism. Once the entire system boggles down, the system is rebooted to execute the maliciously intruded codes on the system and thus, the hackers get full control of the system.
How Cloud Monitoring Helps?
The cloud based server monitoring or website monitoring service is a continuous watchdog of the performance, degradation, status of resource use, internal activities, external activities and numerous other factors. A good server monitoring service offers numerous features such as monitoring of CPU, disk l/O, memory, and network I/O usage, recoding activity logs, monitoring different processes of servers, monitoring of different parameters of web or mobile applications and many others. The cloud based monitoring service also offers instant alert systems that report any kind of uneven behavior of application, server or website to the concerned personnel through multiple sources such as emails, SMS, pagers, and social media. The root cause analysis RCA is also a fundamental part of cloud monitoring that provides deep analysis of the cause and trends that brought the system to halt or other such incidents.
If a system administrator gets every bit of information about his/her website, application or server on time and with a deep analysis report, he/she can make informed decisions instantly and can not only improve the performance of the server but also can avert many hidden security threats and performance risks.
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