Having just returned from the annual RSA (News - Alert) security gathering in San Francisco, I’ll admit that it was both incredibly stimulating and exciting, but also scary. The reality is that things like BYOD, virtualization and the cloud have increased the areas of vulnerability that chief security officers (CSO) must address, and the sophistication of bad actors exploiting vulnerabilities is increasing at an alarming rate.
And while the good guys are offering a series of interesting innovations to discover, track and mitigate risks, one thing that tends to be overlooked in all of the focus on point solutions is the emerging product segment called Network Packet Brokers (NPB).
I recently moderated a webinar, “Cyber Barbarians at the Gate – Strategies for 21st Century Network Security Fortifications,” where Gordon Beith, Director of Product Management, and Leena Merciline, Senior Product Manager at VSS Monitoring, explored with me the overall network security trends and why NPBs are going to become an important part of the mix.
Security challenges and what is needed to better protect the enterprise
Two charts from the session are instructive. The first looks at the threat landscape today and explains why there were so many people experiencing sleepless in San Francisco moments.
Image via VSS Monitoring (News - Alert)
It is a dangerous world internally and externally, and simple anti-virus, anti-spam and firewalling is no longer sufficient for dealing with threats.
What VSS Monitoring sees, and what NPBs are poised to help with, are five critical elements for better securing the enterprise assets. It should be noted that all of these were very hot subjects at RSA.
Image via VSS Monitoring
The objectives for each of the categories in the context of NPB capabilities are worth considering. As VSS explains, NPB technology simplifies security control implementations with:
- Visibility – limit security risk exposures with total network coverage
- Regaining IT agility – to meet business needs quickly
- Defense-in-Depth – add the latest technologies with minimal changes
- Scalability – maximize tool efficiency by sending only actionable data to each tool
- Service Assurance – protect all security zones and gain high availability and fault tolerance
These are not in rank order of importance, but the visibility and giving IT back more agility are critical based on all of the discussions I had at RSA. The reasons are simple. You can’t proactively or reactively protect things you are not visible. And as a result of what some have called “IT by-pass” driven by line of business (LOB) desires to leverage the Cloud and various apps, IT has lost its ability to respond adequately while retaining accountability for protection.
The bottom line is that NPBs provide the visibility being demanded, and can be an effective tool for helping IT reign in the chaos.
If your organization is struggling as to where to look to help tame the complexities of being able to monitor and respond to the growing complexity of cyber threats and the sophistication of attacks and their frequency, finding out more about NPBs is certainly something to consider.
Edited by Braden Becker