We currently live in a world that is heavily connected by the world wide web. Around 40% of the world has an internet connection today, a sharp increase from the mere 1% in 1995. Offices and business are increasingly reliant on internet services to handle their requests. The need for network enabled devices is felt everywhere.
IP addresses are a vital part of any network, and businesses are consuming them faster than ever before. Overlooking the importance of effectively managing your IP addresses can open your network to the risk of security breaches. To prevent this scenario, a large number of companies choose to employ IP address management software.
What is IP Management Software?
IP address management (IPAM) is a tool that can plan, track and manage the IP (Internet Protocol) address used by an organization in their network. Additional functionalities include controlling reservations in DHCP as well as other data aggregation.Newer services like VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and mobile networks increase the requirements of IP address assignments. Management needs robust allocation, classification, and tracking of addresses. Here are few more reasons as to why having IPAM is crucial.
Faster Access to Network Information
IPAM automatically manages monitoring of critical assets, tracks network outages and resolves conflicts. System administrators can find faults faster and hence lessen the risk of security breach by malicious entities. IPAM compiles and sends detailed reports to admins which consist of information on relevant parameters and session activity making it easy for them to detect unauthorized activity.
Enhanced Network Security
Data compiled by IPAM include list of the IP addresses being used, the devices assigned to them, and the time of space allocation.This enables administrators or security officers to identify potential network abuse or security breaches by foreign agents or, even, internal users. IPAM can also be used to enforce policies.Banning websites that reduce productivity, or which may have not-appropriate-for-work content can be stopped by configuring IPAM. In case of sensitive data, operating system validation can be initiated before a device is granted network access.
Mandates like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have laid out strict guidelines for IPAM that necessitate network administrators to monitor and control access to devices in the network. It was enacted by the US Congress to protect investors from the fraudulent accounting activities by corporations.Under this mandate, an organization may be required to produce a detailed log of device activity for specific IPs. IPAM keeps a track of all these data to help business compliance easier.
Prevent IP Address Duplication
Servers are assigned static IP addresses that are usually hardcoded into the configuration. In the absence of IPAM, it may so happen that two devices have been assigned the same IP address. This creates conflict in the network and it may so happen that both of them become unreachable. IPAM prevents such conflicts easily.
Subnet/ IP Address Recovery
Unused IP Addresses must be recycled for a network to function efficiently. However, establishing if a subnet is currently in use is difficult. IPAM can not only find out the information easily, but it can also assist in the aggregation of recovered subnets into larger chunks.
Software based IPAM has been used by large corporations for a long time. Apart from offering a wide array of services, it simplifies the task of data collection and tracking of logs. IPAM can help administrators eradicate network conflicts, track critical resources thus ensuring network security. For a modern network, IPAM is a must.