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These records can help security professionals when responding to an incident. During an attack, for example, network flow information often effectively reveals the quantity (but not content) of a network's extracted data. The logged info can also help identify systems infected with malicious code. Networking professionals can use the data to troubleshoot network anomalies and analyze bandwidth utilization. I strongly recommend network flow logging as part of a well-rounded security program.
Additionally, in a large enterprise, flow data may quickly consume large quantities of storage space. You'll need to estimate your storage needs and develop a retention policy that balances business needs with the technical capabilities of the system.
This was first published in February 2008