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Flow based analysis of network traffic is commonly used to analyze and understand security-related events. Graphical analysis helps analysts detect patterns or behaviors that would not be obvious in a text-based environment. The growing volume of network data generated and captured makes it increasingly difficult to detect increasingly sophisticated reconnaissance and stealthy network attacks. The authors propose a network flow filtering mechanism that leverages the exposure maps technique of Whyte et al. (2007), reducing the traffic for the visualization process according to the network services being offered. This allows focus to be limited to selected subsets of the network traffic, for example what might be categorized (correctly or otherwise) as the unexpected or potentially malicious portion.
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