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Efficiently navigating digital security challenges is crucial to the success of any business. Real-time monitoring is a vital element of an effective security strategy, which optimizes application performance and security.

Monitoring your applications continuously with automated real-time monitoring and security controls significantly reduces risk and helps maintain a consistent security posture.

How does real-time monitoring work, and why does your business need it? This article unpacks the essentials of real-time monitoring, outlining its benefits, key features, and guidelines for selecting suitable software.

What is Real-Time Monitoring?

Real-time monitoring uses tools and solutions to continuously watch and record a business’s application performance. This approach is crucial for maintaining strong application security and quickly identifying potential issues. Keeping a constant eye on application activities helps companies of all sizes spot and resolve problems promptly.

Real-time monitoring not only ensures that applications are running smoothly but also supports better decision-making by providing up-to-date information. In addition to ensuring digital operations remain uninterrupted and efficient, ongoing vigilance is extremely valuable in detecting trends and preventing system downtime.

What Are the Benefits of Real-Time Monitoring?

Real-time monitoring is an essential and strategic business tool with many advantages, including security and customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of real-time and continuous control monitoring:

Minimized security breaches

Real-time monitoring significantly enhances application security. It plays a crucial role in compliance, enabling IT teams to quickly spot and tackle security challenges like unexpected user behavior, unauthorized access, and cyber threats. This proactive surveillance is vital to keeping your applications safe from breaches and protecting your business data.

Optimized application performance

Your application’s performance directly influences your business success. Real-time monitoring offers critical insights into application health, helping avert issues like unscheduled downtime. For companies that rely on digital platforms, like e-commerce, smooth network operation is integral to customer satisfaction and revenue generation.

Faster incident response and mitigation

Awareness is the first step toward resolution. Monitoring in real-time offers you continuous information about your application’s condition, allowing you to respond quickly to incidents. Prompt action minimizes potential losses and disruptions, whether from a severe threat like a data breach or a more minor but equally important issue like authorization errors.

Improved operational efficiency

Real-time monitoring gives you accurate information on application usage, allowing you to make cost-effective decisions. A thorough understanding of your tech needs can prevent overspending on unnecessary resources. In addition, continuous controls monitoring can identify bottlenecks in your network and take corrective action before they become a problem.

Enhanced decision-making

Efficient application performance leads to more than just operational smoothness — it enhances employee productivity. Real-time application monitoring protects data and improves teamwork by identifying issues quickly, resulting in a more efficient and secure work environment. It also provides meaningful analytics and insights into application performance, helping your organization make informed decisions.

Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty

Today’s customers demand a seamless experience. The ability to monitor the applications in real-time ensures uninterrupted service by quickly identifying and fixing problems. This proactive problem-solving approach demonstrates to customers that you value their experience, enhancing loyalty and satisfaction.

Key Features of Real-Time Monitoring Software

Selecting the right real-time monitoring software is a decision that can significantly impact your business’s operational efficiency and security. The ideal software aligns with your current needs and adapts to future challenges.

Here are some key features to look for:

  • Continuous monitoring: Software should provide constant application surveillance, recording and assessing all activities.
  • Alerts and notifications: These identify and call attention to trends and activities that degrade application performance, enabling swift corrective measures​​.
  • Reporting and analytics: Real-time reports and event logs up to the time of an incident are vital for efficient problem resolution​​.
  • Data history: Keeping a detailed record of infrastructure health and capacity tracking is crucial for long-term planning and resource optimization​​.
  • Integrations and extensions: Compatibility with existing solutions is critical for seamless workflow and efficient IT infrastructure management.

However, it’s important to remember that the best real-time monitoring software goes beyond a list of features. You should choose a reliable, secure tool with a proven track record of success. A user-friendly and intuitive interface is essential, as is ease of installation. Additionally, customer support should be a priority, as you will want any issues resolved quickly and efficiently.

How to Choose Real-Time Monitoring Software for Your Business

Choosing the right real-time monitoring software is a crucial decision that impacts the efficiency and security of your business. Knowing your specific needs and the available options will help you make this choice.

Here are a few key considerations to help you navigate the selection process, ensuring you find a solution that aligns perfectly with your business objectives and operational requirements.

Determine your needs

The first step in choosing real-time application monitoring software is to closely examine your business’s specific needs. Begin by assessing the scale of your operations and understanding its unique aspects. Ask yourself: What are the critical challenges my business faces?

If your operation is large, factors such as cost reduction, improving productivity, and minimizing downtime will be paramount. For smaller businesses, the focus might be on managing resources efficiently or ensuring application security.

Understanding these requirements is crucial because it guides you to a solution tailored to your unique operational challenges, ensuring you invest in products that meet your business’s demands.

Compare cloud vs. local

Deciding between cloud-based and on-premise (local) real-time monitoring solutions depends on your business’s operational requirements.

Cloud-based options offer ease of use and flexibility for companies that value scalability and remote management. The advantage of remotely managing your applications can be significant for mobile and distributed teams. A cloud-based solution is also cost-effective, requiring no additional hardware or software but requires integration with a cloud governance system.

On the other hand, on-premise solutions offer more control over the system and individual customization to fit your unique business requirements. Specialized businesses or companies handling sensitive data may find this to be vital.

Balance usability and functionality

When selecting real-time monitoring software, finding a balance between ease of use and comprehensive features is crucial. The ideal software should be user-friendly, ensuring your IT team and other stakeholders can use it without extensive training. At the same time, it must also be robust enough to handle the complexities and demands of your network’s monitoring needs.

This balance is critical because complicated software may be powerful but unusable if it isn’t user-friendly. In contrast, overly simplistic software might not provide sufficient monitoring. Aim for a solution that both meets your technical requirements and is accessible to those who will use it daily.

Prioritize security and compliance

As cybercrime becomes more severe and threatening every year, real-time network monitoring software must prioritize security and continuous compliance. The right software should adhere to the latest security protocols and provide timely alerts to users and administrators. Additionally, it should be able to detect and identify malicious activities in real-time and take the necessary steps to mitigate them.

Along with protecting your applications, legal and regulatory compliance is crucial. Failure to comply can result in significant penalties and damage to your business’s reputation. Make sure you choose software that meets your industry’s security standards and compliance regulations, and update it regularly.

Consider scalability and flexibility

Selecting a scalable and flexible real-time monitoring solution is vital for future-proofing your IT infrastructure. As your business grows and evolves, so do your application needs. A scalable solution can easily accommodate an increasing number of applications, more complex application environments, and additional users without a complete overhaul.

Flexibility plays an equally important role. As technology evolves and business processes change, your chosen software should grow with them. This adaptability ensures that your investment remains valuable and effective long-term, helping you avoid the cost and disruption of switching systems as your needs change.

Ensure integration and compatibility

When choosing real-time monitoring software, seamless integration with your existing IT infrastructure is vital. The right software should fit smoothly into your current setup and enhance it. Compatibility is essential for avoiding disruptions in your IT operations and also offers several benefits:

  • Swift adoption: A well-integrated system is easier to learn and implement, minimizing downtime.
  • Cost savings: Streamlined processes from integration can reduce costs.
  • Operational efficiency: Integration often simplifies workflows and enables automation, enhancing overall efficiency.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Faster responses, enabled by efficient systems, improve customer satisfaction.
  • Error reduction: Automated data sharing between applications reduces the risk of manual errors.

Choosing software that integrates well with existing tools ensures a harmonious, efficient, and error-reduced IT environment.

Evaluate cost and Return on Investment (ROI)

In the final step, carefully evaluate the cost of the real-time monitoring system against its potential benefits. An effective system should yield a significant return on investment (ROI).

Make sure to factor in installation and training costs, as well as the cost of maintenance and upgrades. Weigh these expenses against the system’s potential benefits, such as enhanced operational efficiency, minimized downtime, and smarter resource allocation. Consider how the software will streamline your processes, improve customer satisfaction and retention, and reduce costs in the long term.

Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the most cost-effective option. Aim for a solution that offers a balance of affordability and robust functionality, ultimately contributing to your business’s growth and success.

Pathlock Puts You In Control Of Real-Time Monitoring

Efficient management of digital security challenges is crucial to business success, and real-time network monitoring is a must. Pathlock offers multiple modules for monitoring that you can choose based on your specific security and compliance needs:

Risk Quantification and Transaction Monitoring

Pathlock analyzes transaction data within your business applications to quantify the financial exposure of SoD conflicts in your application environment. This quantification identifies the monetary risk and impacts on your organization. Pathlock provides a detailed analysis that can be viewed by SoD control conflict, user, or application, with complete transaction details. As a result, Pathlock can reduce the time and costs of SoD audits by as much as 80%.

Configuration Change Monitoring

Pathlock’s Configuration Change Monitoring provides detailed analysis, enabling you to track changes to transaction and master data. It includes information about the source of change, the user who initiated the change, and before/after values, including deleted items.

Business Process Control Management

We enable you to integrate and streamline control mechanisms from various frameworks into a centralized, automated system. The benefits of automated control consolidation across risk identification and assessment frameworks include improved efficiency, reduced manual effort, enhanced risk visibility, standardized controls, and compliance with multiple frameworks.

To discover how Pathlock can elevate your real-time monitoring strategy and safeguard your applications, learn more about our continuous controls solutions, or contact us to book a demo.

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