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Free network flow monitoring for all enterprise customers


4 min read
Free network flow monitoring for all enterprise customers

A key component of effective corporate network security is establishing end to end visibility across all traffic that flows through the network. Every network engineer needs a complete overview of their network traffic to confirm their security policies work, to identify new vulnerabilities, and to analyze any shifts in traffic behavior. Often, it’s difficult to build out effective network monitoring as teams struggle with problems like configuring and tuning data collection, managing storage costs, and analyzing traffic across multiple visibility tools.

Today, we’re excited to announce that a free version of Cloudflare’s network flow monitoring product, Magic Network Monitoring, is available to all Enterprise Customers. Every Enterprise Customer can configure Magic Network Monitoring and immediately improve their network visibility in as little as 30 minutes via our self-serve onboarding process.

Enterprise Customers can visit the Magic Network Monitoring product page, click “Talk to an expert”, and fill out the form. You’ll receive access within 24 hours of submitting the request. Over the next month, the free version of Magic Network Monitoring will be rolled out to all Enterprise Customers. The product will automatically be available by default without the need to submit a form.

How it works

Cloudflare customers can send their network flow data (either NetFlow or sFlow) from their routers to Cloudflare’s network edge.

Magic Network Monitoring will pick up this data, parse it, and instantly provide insights and analytics on your network traffic. These analytics include traffic volume overtime in bytes and packets, top protocols, sources, destinations, ports, and TCP flags.

Dogfooding Magic Network Monitoring during the remediation of the Thanksgiving 2023 security incident

Let’s review a recent example of how Magic Network Monitoring improved Cloudflare’s own network security and traffic visibility during the Thanksgiving 2023 security incident. Our security team needed a lightweight method to identify malicious packet characteristics in our core data center traffic. We monitored for any network traffic sourced from or destined to a list of ASNs associated with the bad actor. Our security team setup Magic Network Monitoring and established visibility into our first core data center within 24 hours of the project kick-off. Today, Cloudflare continues to use Magic Network Monitoring to monitor for traffic related to bad actors and to provide real time traffic analytics on more than 1 Tbps of core data center traffic.

Magic Network Monitoring - Traffic Analytics
Magic Network Monitoring - Traffic Analytics

Monitoring local network traffic from IoT devices

Magic Network Monitoring also improves visibility on any network traffic that doesn’t go through Cloudflare. Imagine that you’re a network engineer at ACME Corporation, and it’s your job to manage and troubleshoot IoT devices in a factory that are connected to the factory’s internal network. The traffic generated by these IoT devices doesn’t go through Cloudflare because it is destined to other devices and endpoints on the internal network. Nonetheless, you still need to establish network visibility into device traffic over time to monitor and troubleshoot the system.

To solve the problem, you configure a router or other network device to securely send encrypted traffic flow summaries to Cloudflare via an IPSec tunnel. Magic Network Monitoring parses the data, and instantly provides you with insights and analytics on your network traffic. Now, when an IoT device goes down, or a connection between IoT devices is unexpectedly blocked, you can analyze historical network traffic data in Magic Network Monitoring to speed up the troubleshooting process.

Monitoring cloud network traffic

As cloud networking becomes increasingly prevalent, it is essential for enterprises to invest in visibility across their cloud environments. Let’s say you’re responsible for monitoring and troubleshooting your corporation's cloud network operations which are spread across multiple public cloud providers. You need to improve visibility into your cloud network traffic to analyze and troubleshoot any unexpected traffic patterns like configuration drift that leads to an exposed network port.

To improve traffic visibility across different cloud environments, you can export cloud traffic flow logs from any virtual device that supports NetFlow or sFlow to Cloudflare. In the future, we are building support for native cloud VPC flow logs in conjunction with Magic Cloud Networking. Cloudflare will parse this traffic flow data and provide alerts plus analytics across all your cloud environments in a single pane of glass on the Cloudflare dashboard.

Improve your security posture today in less than 30 minutes

If you’re an existing Enterprise customer, and you want to improve your corporate network security, you can get started right away. Visit the Magic Network Monitoring product page, click “Talk to an expert”, and fill out the form. You’ll receive access within 24 hours of submitting the request. You can begin the self-serve onboarding tutorial, and start monitoring your first batch of network traffic in less than 30 minutes.

Over the next month, the free version of Magic Network Monitoring will be rolled out to all Enterprise Customers. The product will be automatically available by default without the need to submit a form.

If you’re interested in becoming an Enterprise Customer, and have more questions about Magic Network Monitoring, you can talk with an expert. If you’re a free customer, and you’re interested in testing a limited beta of Magic Network Monitoring, you can fill out this form to request access.

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