An infamous cyberattack in late 2020 made SolarWinds a household name in the tech industry after it was discovered to be at the center of a supply-chain attack on its Orion network management tool.
That attack allowed state-sponsored actors to push a malicious update to nearly 18,000 customers, including U.S. government agencies and about 100 large private enterprises. On July 13, 2021, the company announced that it was the target of a separate attack that exploited a zero-day vulnerability in another of its products unrelated to Orion. The vulnerability was discovered by Microsoft.
Zero-day attacks exploit software vulnerabilities previously unknown to developers. The name comes from the number of days a software developer has known about the problem. According to computer security firm PurpleSec, there were 12.4 million known malware infections in 2009. By 2018, that number had grown to over 812 million incidents.
Malware volume is not the only thing growing like mushrooms after a heavy rain. The cost of cybercrime is expected to grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015, according to research from Cybersecurity Ventures.
Isolating SolarWinds, or any other SaaS for security gaps in its product lineup won’t do anything to reduce the prevalence or cost of these attacks, however, the sheer volume of attacks should certainly have IT managers scrambling to find more secure monitoring alternatives for protecting IT networks and infrastructure.
Although website monitoring tools are not designed to proactively scan for cyberthreats, they can look for changes to content or code, check on server performance and availability, and provide alerts that may point to possible website infections from malware and viruses. They also monitor critical application features and functionalities to ensure everything is up-and-running without issue.
Here we take a look at how Uptrends’ OP5 Network Monitor stacks up as a solid alternative for your business.
Uptrends OP5 Network Monitoring overview
OP5 is a fully scalable monitoring solution designed to provide maximum benefits in all IT environments. It allows for the monitoring of the entire IT estate regardless of location — on-premises, in dynamic environments, public cloud or a hybrid of these — all through a single pane of glass. This makes it easier to consolidate monitoring tools and cut down on costs, making it easier to see a positive ROI in a shorter period of time.
OP5 is built on top of Naemon, an open-source application with an active Dev community, and its own API. Because of this, OP5 has a much smaller learning curve, especially for those users who migrate from monitoring platforms, such as Nagios.
Not only is this shorter learning curve an advantage, but the entities that are already monitored by Nagios clients will seamlessly integrate into OP5, meaning an investment in current customer’s infrastructure and data will not get lost when transitioning.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor vs Uptrends’ OP5 at a glance
- SolarWinds licenses by element. So, if a switch has 64 ports, then the count is 64 and not 1.
- SolarWinds offers distributed monitoring only if you purchase the unlimited version and is not as robust and light on the network.
- SolarWinds has a closed architecture meaning it tends to be less customizable.
- OP5 licensing is by IP address (host), and the interfaces, ports, services, etc., are unlimited and unrestricted.
- Scaling is easier. OP5 excels at scaling up your monitoring environment by adding new servers to create a load-balanced environment, a distributed environment, or a combination of both.
- OP5’s architecture is open providing for better customization. This means you can extend functions by adding custom plugins from a large community.
OP5 offers enhanced security features
Today’s workforce requires an increased dependence on technology, particularly off-premises technology. That has created unprecedented levels of traffic that can strain IT capacity and make it harder to monitor for security given the geographic distances between some work locations. It also means services must be up-and-running 24/7 and no longer adhere to traditional 9 to 5 business hours.
OP5 integrates improved security practices and mitigates risk at every stage of the monitoring pipeline. For example, an application firewall, ModSecurity, works to prevent security risks and block potentially harmful behaviors in the application. ModSecurity is an open-source web application firewall that is bundled with the Apache module. It filters every request made to the Apache web server and applies the OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set as a basis for allowing or denying the request.
There is also the option to continuously run security scans on all components of OP5 Monitor so that you can get early notifications of potential security risks. At the same time, developers monitor the security community closely and keep core components in sync with upstream.
OP5 features an intuitive UI that’s better for new users
Uptrends OP5 Website Monitoring is flexible and shines when it comes to dashboards, which don’t just cater to technical staff. Business and process views can easily be created, providing better insights for non-technical users.
The new UI offers a more flexible structure that allows for it to be easier to update and add functionality. The result is faster development. The new UI is also more user friendly and fresher looking. For example, OP5 features a dark mode, which can increase the vibrancy of foreground content. Development follows best practices for user interaction and using Material-UI as the base for its building blocks.
Further, the new UI is built upon a modular architecture, which means it can be more easily updated. Adding functionality can be done at a faster pace than before, allowing for faster response time to customer needs. And the new UI is backward compatible with previous versions, meaning existing versions can be used side by side until the previous versions of the UI are upgraded.
Key UI features in a nutshell
- Menu will be flipped to a collapsible vertical menu, making more space for the content.
- Both a light and dark theme available to meet the request for a darker UI.
- The new UI is responsive, adapting to different screen sizes – from desktop to mobile.
- A quick and easy-to-use filter for the tables added to maintain service status overview in hosts list.
- Detailed views and new layout detailed pages. Compact screen allows users access a quick and easy overview and making it easier to find valuable information.
- Dashboards- The new dashboards have a flexible layout, allowing you to resize and reorder widgets easily to create dashboards that fit your needs and preferences
- Comprehensive documentation – Documentation will now update accordingly.
- A compatibility matrix to act as a search engine for those who need to quickly find answers about supported versions of operating systems, browsers, agents, applications, end of life dates and much more.
- A separate “What’s New” section is available to act as a repository for an overview of the latest and greatest features.
Mitigating security problems early before they have a chance to snowball into something larger should be a primary concern of your IT team given the likelihood that failing to be alerted rapidly could result in significant financial and productivity losses — maybe even damage to your business reputation.
Now may be the right time to start looking at the quality and security of other monitoring offerings on the playing field. OP5 provides more value for the same investment in a SolarWinds monitoring agent. Need more convincing? Book a one-on-one demo to learn more about what OP5 can do for your business.