What is a Soft Inventory Tool?
Soft inventory tools are used to monitor activity within an open network. It does this through a process of recording all devices that are in an IT environment. It’s the part of IT asset management that allows the recording of data, vendor, size, type, and other necessary data of software installations.
What is NMap?
NMap is its shortened term from Network Mapper. It is a free tool used for network discovery and vulnerability scanning. Network admins use nMapper to see what devices are running on their systems, looking for hosts that are available, detecting security risks, and finding open ports.
Nmap is used to monitor single hosts and vast networks that encompass a multitude of subnets and hundreds of thousands of devices.
While Nmap has evolved throughout the years and is flexible, in essence, it’s a port-scan tool, gathering information by sending raw packets to their system ports. It checks for a response and determine which port is open, filtered, or closed in some way (i.e. through a firewall).
The packets that Nmap sends out returns with IP addresses and a lot of other data. This allows IT managers to view all the attributes, create a profile/map for the network and allow you to conduct a software or hardware inventory check.
Different protocols have different system ports and serve different purposes. For instance, the UDP’s low resonance overhead makes it great for real-time live-streamed video. Here you can sacrifice the packets for speed, while videos on YouTube are buffered and use TCP.
How is NMap Used?
While Nmap is mainly used for port scanning, it allows for a multitude of capabilities such as:
- OS Detection: Nmap can find the operating systems used on network devices (known as OS fingerprinting), providing the system name, the vendor name, the software version and the estimate of a device’s uptime.
- Network Mapping: Nmap can be used to identify multiple devices on a network. This includes switches, routers, and servers, and how all the devices are physically connected.
- Security Auditing: Finding out what other application systems and versions are running on a network lets hosts determine vulnerability to certain flaws. If a network admin gets an alert about a vulnerability is a certain application version. You can scan the network to see what software version is on the network and take the necessary steps to fix the relevant hosts.
- Service Discovery: Nmap can’t only identify other hosts on a network, but whether they’re acting on mail, name, or web servers, and the applications they’re using and the software they’re running.
Overall, tools like Nmap are developed to help improve daily business operations, manage IT teams, and protect your network from outside attacks.
When using software inventory tool like Softinventive, make sure that your entire team is on board with the change. By doing this, your network becomes more organized and capable of running smoothly.
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