Network security has never been more difficult. Between the different types of threats and the sheer number of devices now connected to most organizations’ networks, it’s enough to make IT and security officers long for the days of paper documents stored in file cabinets.
Of course, there are many more ways to defend and leverage your network now, beyond the flimsy, impossible-to-use key of a file cabinet, too. One solution that we’ve seen our customers have success with is Tetration from our partner Cisco. We think it helps with perhaps the most important thing you can do when it comes to network security: Stay ahead of it.
Once you’ve had an incident, you’re playing catchup, which is never a fun place to be. It’s better to take the necessary steps to avoid an incident altogether. KeyInfo and Cisco are also working together and help companies use the network as a sensor, which helps you stay another step ahead. With that in mind, here are three ways we’ve seen that Tetration helps companies stay out in front of network security issues.
Make it simple
As we’ve discussed, security is difficult. It doesn’t have to be that difficult, though. The more simplicity you can build into your system, the better. A great example of this is how Tetration can help you use segmentation to define where your application boundaries are, and more importantly, help you enforce those boundaries. This is usually no small task, just ask any network admin.
Tetration has a couple ways to get around the complexity. It includes a hardware appliance that’s inherently easy to use, and it relies on end-point agents that are directly installed on physical and virtual servers. These agents collect network traffic and security information, including data on network packets, applications and users on the network, for you, then enables consumption through an easy-to-navigate and scalable web GUI, as well as through Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs. Along with automated alerts and security actions, this takes a lot of the manual effort usually required, and makes it automatic.
Don’t touch performance
The quickest way to make sure your app security system will fail is to have it affect performance in any way. Users simply won’t stand for app performance downgrades, even in exchange for the most secure environment. Nor should they have to.
This is where Cisco’s acquisition of AppDynamics comes into play. AppDynamics’ technology focuses on keeping application performance as high as possible across the network, and across applications. Combine that with Tetration’s focus on security policy along servers and the network stack, and you have an overall solution that can keep your company secure, while also making sure there is no degradation in app performance.
Do you test your security policies and software changes before implementing them? Of course. Is it a real test, or one of those tests that’s designed to be passed? It’s OK, we’ve all been there. With security, though, organizations simply can’t afford to do anything less than an absolutely thorough, designed-to-discover-weak-points test.
Tetration gives you the ability to completely test your security policies and changes before implementing them, giving you a very granular understanding of how they’ll impact your organization. This helps you uncover any potentially negative, unintended consequences of these changes. For example, Tetration can store your application and network data for months — or longer — to give you a complete view of how things like seasonal application traffic changes can affect your security policies. Being able to anticipate and account for application attributes changing with workloads is a key part of keeping ahead of any potential issues.
Listen, nobody wants to go back to the file cabinet system, as difficult as today’s security challenges can be. With these three tips, we hope you can get started on your way to staying ahead of your network security. If you’re ready for the next step, check out some of the information on our Cisco partner page, and drop us a line with any questions.
To get ahead of your network security issues, click here.
Cisco Practice Leader
Key Information Systems, Inc.