SWARM Report: What it is & Why your Business Needs One


To round out September, we thought it’d be fitting to spotlight our newest FREE service — SonicWALL Application Risk Management (SWARM) Reports. We tried to explain the who, what, when, where and why of SWARM Reports, but figured no one could explain it better than ABR Systems Group Owner and Consultant Allen Riley.

What exactly does a SWARM Report measure?
The SonicWALL Application Risk Management (SWARM) Report is a snapshot in time of the different threats that have been identified as a risk to your network infrastructure. This report also provides application and user based data that includes top application traffic, top users, top URL categories and session counts to give insight into the traffic mix on your network.

Why should my business have a SWARM assessment done?
Each and every day there are a variety of threats to a business’s network. Some are blocked by current network settings, but many reach inside of our networks and to our servers and user computers. Just because we don’t see a problem, doesn’t mean our network hasn’t been breached. The majority of the intrusions we see are not intended to damage the network, but rather simply to provide the intruder access to the network and data as needed.

What other benefits do SWARM Reports provide businesses?
The tool also gives us a high-level view of the users and applications that are accessing resources on the internet. How the bandwidth is being used. Most businesses do not perform any content filtering or have any prioritizing of bandwidth usage.

What problems/issues do SWARM Reports reveal?
It will easily identify how the internet resources are being utilized. If external access to the network is being achieved, we can evaluate if this is an approved access or an intruder into the system. An employee accessing his data files from an off-site location may be approved, while an intruder hacking into the systems is recognized threat.

If unauthorized or non-business applications are running across the network, this tool will identify what those are so they can be addressed. Social media access by unauthorized users is a big bandwidth hog; employees watching movies or videos can slow down whole networks.

What are the steps involved from submission of the online SWARM Report request form to completion?
Once a request is made, ABR will schedule with your company’s IT management to come on-site and install our SWARM appliance. In most cases, it is simply “plug and play.” We would just need access to the first internet entry into the network.

About a week later, we will retrieve the activity data from the appliance and begin the report preparation. Likely, at this same time, we will remove the appliance from the network.

We will then schedule a time to meet with Company and IT management to review the results of the analysis. This will likely foster additional discussions regarding the network security and may lead to interest in other ABR products and services.

“I’m not the CEO of a company, but I think my place of employment would benefit from having ABR complete a SWARM Report assessment. How do I convince my boss?”
This is a no-risk assessment to a business. There is no cost involved in ABR developing the SWARM report. Having knowledge of the risks that exist to a business allows management to assess those risks and determine if additional protection is needed. The threats exist to every network that is not a question. Whether those threats are of consequence to the business is then a decision by management.

How do I schedule a SWARM Report assessment for my business?
Complete the SWARM Report inquiry form at http://abrsg.com/swarm-report/ or contact me directly at (270) 796-8832 or ariley@abrsg.com. We will then discuss the opportunity further.


Allen Riley has more than 33 years of experience in IT consulting, management and operations. In July 2002, he took over ABR Systems Group and continues to expand his knowledge of the industry to better serve his clients. He and his team are dedicated to providing value to all clients and introducing cutting-edge technology to foster organizational growth, enforce best practices, and streamline important processes.