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Network monitoring is one of the routine tasks that IT teams must perform to keep business systems functioning. Monitoring the network is a 24/7/365 process that could, conceivably, take up much of your organization’s time and effort. 

However, monitoring is necessary. The 2019-2020 IT Outage Impact Study found that 51% of outages could be avoided, meaning it is possible to reduce the amount of unscheduled downtime significantly. Network monitoring is a key part of preventing downtime. 

Network monitoring solutions can make the prevention process much easier and more effective. Utility companies in particular could benefit from network monitoring solutions that detect, track, and help to remediate network problems. 

Here’s a look at 3 reasons why utility companies should use network monitoring solutions. 

utilities-are-essential-and-firstlight-can-help1) Utilities provide essential services.

Utilities are lifelines for communities, providing vital resources such as power, water, and fuel. Without utilities, people can’t cook, heat or cool their homes, drive their cars, or drink clean water. 

The fact that many utility companies are putting a moratorium on shutting off services for nonpayment during the pandemic is a testament to how essential their services are. 

For this reason, utilities need to monitor their networks to ensure that services aren’t interrupted. For example, if the power grid shuts down, causing a blackout, communities would be thrown into chaos. Utilities can’t afford much unplanned downtime from network failures. 

Network monitoring empowers utility companies to use a dashboard to gain visibility into the network and track performance metrics. Latency, bottlenecks, or shutdowns can be detected and resolved before the problem snowballs. 

2) Utility companies are targets for cybercrime. 

Utilities are a vital part of our nation’s infrastructure. This makes utility companies attractive targets for cyberterrorists who want to threaten and intimidate U.S. states and cities by infiltrating and disrupting the network to shut down power and water facilities. 

Network monitoring can detect anomalous traffic patterns that might indicate malicious behavior. Alerts enable the utility company to respond to potential threats in a timely and proactive manner, before cybercriminals can successfully breach the network.

utilities-depend-on-their-network-firstlight-IT-solutions3) Utilities depend on their networks. 

Just as utilities are a lifeline for communities, the network is a lifeline for utilities. Utility companies depend on the network to collect and transmit customer and asset data. The network connects endpoints such as sensors on connected devices in the field and mobile devices used by utility workers in remote locations. 

The utility depends on the network to retrieve the data generated by endpoints. Network monitoring ensures that this data is being transmitted quickly and securely to the cloud, company headquarters, or the data center so it can be used to make decisions. 

Peace of Mind for Utility Companies 

With network monitoring, utility companies don’t need to go it alone. They acquire the tools they need to monitor their mission-critical network, as well as a partner to help them keep their network running securely and optimally. 

In 2019, FirstLight announced the introduction of our stand-alone Network and Enterprise Monitoring Solutions. These Monitoring Solutions make it easy for customers to track and respond to key network performance metrics. 

This enables utility companies to reduce downtime and decrease management expenses. Utilities receive alerts when a network issue arises — whether from an accident or from potentially malicious activity — so they can act quickly and decisively to avoid interruptions.

Find out more about FirstLight Network and Enterprise Monitoring. Read our solution brief.