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Networking / April 3, 2020

Three Key Driving Techniques That Apply to Your Network

This article originally appeared in Forbes.

As you drive along the highway you’re guaranteed to pass a variety of vehicles, from school buses to luxury cars, to minivans and large pickup trucks. While it may be safe to assume who the passengers are in each vehicle, such as students on a school bus, families in a minivan or construction workers in a pickup truck, your assumptions could be completely off. What if the school bus is actually full of hairdressers headed to a conference, the minivan is full of bank robbers making a getaway and the pickup truck is actually grandma headed to the grocery store?

The same false assumptions can happen with network packets as well. You can assume that you know what data is traveling within your networks, but what if you’re wrong?

Today, it’s no surprise that senior business leaders and security professionals can’t just look at the outside of a network packet and assume that it’s simply carrying an email, web application or backup data. So, how do they navigate the challenges that come with today’s high volume of network packet traffic?

Here are three best practice tips for leveraging network and application data and insights in order to get the visibility levels that organizations need in their digital transformation journey to run fast and stay secure.

#1: Keep Your Eyes on the Road

In a world where threat actors use masquerading and misdirection from all angles to penetrate enterprises’ networks,  you can’t assume anything. With cyberattacks taking place every 14 seconds on average, chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) need visibility into their organizations’ networks and coinciding applications to make concrete business and security decisions. Together with network operators (NetOps) and security operators (InfoSec), security teams must have complete visibility into the packet, through a deep packet inspection, for all information-in-motion to confirm what the packet actually contains. This visibility allows security teams to have a proactive and holistic look into what’s going in and out of their networks, taking network security strategy to the next level.

Having this amount of insight will help the C-suite understand the importance of network visibility and that, in today’s climate of sophisticated threat actors, businesses can’t operate safely without it.

#2: 10 and 2: Driving Digital Transformation

As more organizations look to digitally transform, complete visibility through Application Intelligence is the key to success. Currently, 90 percent of all organizations are undergoing DX, powered by new digital applications. While modern multi-tiered DX applications bring agility and innovative capabilities to the table, the complexity behind them makes monitoring and securing applications difficult. After all, IT complexity is the number one challenge for CISOs, according to a recent survey by Forrester.

In answer to the complexity challenge, Application Intelligence provides senior leaders technology that automatically combs through their data and offers only the most relevant application traffic for analysis. Application Intelligence fills the void presented by the complexity of a successful DX initiative with the analytics and tools needed for business leaders to do their jobs quickly and accurately — bettering both their businesses and customers.

#3: Check Your Blind Spots

As organizations undergo DX transformations, threat actors are simultaneously looking for enterprises’ weak spots. Cyberattacks aren’t going anywhere — in fact, the proliferation of cyberattacks is only growing — making it more critical than ever for senior business leaders to ensure that visibility into all data-in-motion, is a fundamental design principle of their infrastructure.

Application Intelligence provides NetOps and InfoSec teams the necessary framework for complete network visibility of the digital enterprise with automatic insights into thousands of applications running on the network. Armed with this ability, NetOps and InfoSec teams can eliminate any existing blind spots. Application Intelligence also provides IT professionals with the ability to drill down into each individual application and its components to identify potential bottlenecks and security vulnerabilities. By eliminating data silos and sharing application knowledge across the enterprise, CIOs and CISOs can optimize their enterprises’ performance, combat potential issues and deliver the best possible customer experience.

Much like passing a bus on the highway and getting a good look at its passengers, a clear line of sight into network traffic provides organizations with the ability to address any potential challenge that could arise. Business leaders can’t assume they know the contents of the packets of information in their networks, just like we can’t assume the bus is full of school children. Only with the proper security tools in place can enterprises attain faster threat detection and remediation to ensure organizations run fast and stay secure in today’s age of DX.

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