The ability of traceroutes to highlight latency and packet loss across routers and hops mean they’re still relevant in troubleshooting toolkits, according to an article published by SMB-focused access management specialist Devolutions.
Alyssa Lamberti, writing for Obkio, argues that although many tools are available today, from speed tests to monitoring software, traceroutes still offer certain advantages.
“The hostname of the traceroute hops can provide a lot of information about the real path from the source to the destination,” she says.
“You can decode from traceroute DNS the ISP operating the router, the city where the router is located, the router name, number or unique ID, [and] the ingress interface or port through which the traceroute packet came on the router.”
Lamberti adds that people often forget that traffic on the internet is asymmetrical most of the time. To help troubleshoot issues further, traceroutes give you data from sources and destinations in the same ISP — providing a reverse traceroute to compare the data and catch reverse path issues.
A single router can drop traceroute packets or have higher latencies for various reasons, not necessarily pointing to network performance degradation. If the packet loss doesn’t continue with the following hops it’s not a network issue, says Lamberti.
“A traceroute traces the IP route from a source to a destination inside of an IP network. It collects data to show users the routers and round-trip latency from the source to each of the routers,” she writes.
A survey by Devolutions underlines that SMBs can be disadvantaged relative to large enterprises when it comes to optimisation even though they represent around 99% of all businesses.
For example, privileged access, password and remote connection management solutions can be expensive and complex for smaller firms — leaving them vulnerable to security and compliance issues.
The Canadian firm finds that perhaps 76% of SMBs don’t have a “fully deployed” privileged access management (PAM) solution, even though nearly eight in ten (78%) agree that PAM is important for cybersecurity. The full report can be downloaded here.
Sixty-two percent of SMB respondents indicated they audit their security setup less than once a year — with 14% never doing a security audit at all.
Many also allowed their end users to reuse passwords not only across professional accounts but also personal accounts, such as webmail.
David Hervieux, CEO of Devolutions, said that SMBs must not assume their smaller size will protect them from cyberattack.
“On the contrary, hackers, rogue employees and others are increasingly targeting SMBs because they typically have weaker and, in some cases, virtually non-existent defence systems. SMBs cannot afford to take a reactive wait-and-see approach.”
One way for SMBs to close the cybersecurity gap is to seek out a trusted managed service provider (MSP) for guidance and implementation of cybersecurity solutions, monitoring and training programmes, according to Devolutions.