What is Your Strategy for IP Address Management (IPAM)?
IPv4 addresses are an extremely important part of a network, and IP address management, commonly known as IPAM, can become progressively difficult as the number of IPv4 addresses used on your network increases. With more of these IPs being used all the time for applications, databases, microservices, and more, managing all of the necessary IPv4 addresses and what each IP is used for can create some issues for network administrators. For a very long time, people were forced to use the functional and yet archaic excel spreadsheet to manage their IP addresses. Today we have much better options…
Benefits of IP Address Management (IPAM)
IP Address Management tools are a simplified way in which you can track and manage the IPv4 address space on your network. IPAM typically integrates DHCP and DNS, which then allows changes in one to be seen by the other. This allows updates to occur automatically when a change is detected in one or the other.
When it comes to network and machine security, access to IPAM data can make it much easier to detect potential breaches or abuse within your infrastructure. IPAM data includes information such as the IPv4 addresses in use, what devices each IP is assigned to, and the time each was assigned and to whom each was assigned.
This information can be very beneficial when it comes to identifying patterns that could indicate security breaches or other abuse on your network. Preventative measures such as these are of extreme importance in order to maintain data integrity and the health of your network and systems.
Compliance and IP Address Management (IPAM)
IPAM can also be helpful when it comes to compliance. Certain internal policies can be enforced using IPAM data and a network access control (NAC) system. For example, before access is granted to your network, the NAC, with help from the IPAM data, can determine if your antivirus software is up to date, thus potentially preventing an intruder from succeeding in an attack due to your antivirus software being behind on updates.
In addition, if you are subject to any regulatory compliance, IPAM data can help identify information needed to gain compliance. For example, if a regulation requires that a log is produced from your systems with the network IPv4 assignments for a given time, the IPAM data can quickly be used to generate such a log on a regular basis in order to get into and remain in compliance.
Networks and IP Address Management (IPAM)
While security and compliance are both very important, IPAM is also quite helpful in order to provide you with general information on the state of your network and all of the IPv4 addresses being used at any given time. For example, information can be collected on whether an IPv4 address is static, dynamic, reserved, or in another status. In addition, data such as MAC addresses, DHCP leases, hostnames, and more can be collected and viewed in order to help you get a solid overview or detailed report on what is happening on your network.
In closing, there are free methods of managing IP addresses. However, there are more important benefits of IPAM than just managing IPs. So it’s worth taking a look at options and prices to determine whether the benefits outweigh the costs.