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SonicWALL App Flow Monitor Overview

In this video you will be able to get a first look at the new App Flow Monitor in SonicOS Enhanced 5.8.0.1.

Note: Depending on your SonicWALL firewall model some of these features may not be available. In this demo we are using a SonicWALL NSA 2400 running SonicOS 5.8.0.1 firmware.

Traditional firewalls include default monitoring features that do not offer great visibility into the users' traffic.

NGFW firewalls like SonicWALL firewalls incorporate new monitoring tools that provide network administrators with the power to identify protocols, users, applications and threats in a single console.

See How It's Done

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Real-time data monitoring

When it comes to monitoring active connections for a particular computer or user, a traditional firewall normally displays the protocols detected per source and destination IP addresses.

If available, content filtering data(e.g. URLs accessed by the users) and antivirus/IPS events(threats detected) may be displayed; possibly the web traffic may be logged per user.

For better monitoring typically an add-on or external device is needed.

The limited default monitoring options prevent the network administrator from being able to detect and react to threats in real time or to understand what applications access the network.

The App Flow Monitor feature of SonicWALL firewalls

The App Flow Monitor feature of SonicWALL firewalls provides administrators with incoming and outgoing network data monitoring.

It gives the network administrators the ability to see what actually happens on the network; what applications are being used, by who, when and how or what threats and type of threats have been detected.

Using the App Flow Monitor feature

From SonicWALL firewall’s management interface, on the left-side menu click Dashboard and then click its App Flow Monitor sub-menu; the Dashboard/App Flow Monitor page will open.

On this page there are a couple of tabs; each tab will display specific information:

  • The Applications tab; lists the applications and protocols currently accessing the network.
  • The Users tab; lists the users currently connected to the network.
  • The URLs tab; lists the URLs currently accessed by users.
  • The Initiators tab; details about current connection initiators.
  • The Responders tab; details about current connection responders.
  • The Threats tab; lists the threats encountered by the network.
  • The VoIP tab; lists the current VoIP and media traffic.
  • The VPN tab; lists the VPN sessions connected to the network.
  • The Devices tab; lists the devices currently connected to the network.
  • The Contents tab; lists information about the type of traffic flowing through the network.

Within each tab you can normally click the objects listed, e.g. users or applications to get more details about them. Or you can filter the view to display only specific information.