For many companies, a nightmare scenario is to find that all of their network traffic is suddenly in the hands of an unfriendly power. This happened to Google on Nov. 12, when an employee at a small Nigerian internet service provider configured the border gateway protocol (BGP) filters of one of its network devices so that Google’s traffic went to Nigeria, passing through Russia and China on the way.
Of course, you should always be monitoring your network, and not just because of the chance of a network hijacking attempt, intentional or otherwise. A decent network monitoring application will spot changes in your network addressing and alert your IT staff. The Spiceworks Network Monitor can handle tasks such as this, and it’s free, easy to understand and effective.
With an effective monitoring service in place, you will know almost immediately when something that adversely affects your network happens, whether it’s a BGP configuration problem, the appearance of a rogue WiFi access point or an unauthorized user on your internal network. Just watching the latency numbers will tell you that something is amiss.
Border gateway protocol is a legacy of the early days of the internet when most actions were based on trust. Unfortunately, in this age of malware and spies, trust is a thing of the past, so you’ll need to have a way to confirm that what’s happening on your network is what you want to happen. That challenge will only get more important.
To find out more about what happened to Google’s traffic click here.