Network security solutions are paramount to your business success
Network security solutions are one of, if not THE, most important topics for anyone in IT. This is true from the security engineer all the way to the chief information security officer (CISO), chief information officer (CIO), and even the chief executive officer (CEO). Everyone wants to improve it.
The question though is, “What can you really do to improve it?” One solid answer is to strengthen the deployment of online security tools. This is critical to an architecture where someone is trying to maximize their defenses and maximize reliability.
Network visibility is the key to the solution. You cannot secure what you cannot see. A network visibility architecture empowers the security engineer with information to quickly isolate security threats, making visibility a central
component of network security. This allows you to improve your security architecture activities by:
• Optimizing the availability and reliability of inline security devices
• Isolating and capturing the right kind of data for the security tools to process
• Performing Active SSL decryption for improved data inspection and simplification of the decryption infrastructure
• Improving the efficiency and accuracy of the current security architecture
A visibility architecture is an end-to-end infrastructure which delivers network, application, and security visibility. This visibility is what allows you to optimize your network data capture and analysis techniques. A visibility architecture typically yields immediate benefits like the following: eliminates blind spots, improved data flow to security tools, and maximum network and tool availability.
There are three layers to a visibility architecture
The first layer is data access – Network security solutions
This is where you will want to insert taps and bypass switches into the network between the network data flow and your monitoring tools (or network packet broker) to improve the quality of monitoring data and time to data acquisition.
The external bypass switch uses heartbeat messages to communicate directly with inline security tools. Should any security device fail, the bypass switch can automatically fail open or close, depending upon how it is configured. Once the bypass switch detects that the security device is back online (through the use of continual heartbeat message checking), the bypass switch will reinstate a normal the low of operation—no manual intervention is required.
The second layer is the monitoring data manipulation layer – Network security solutions
This is where you will want to deploy network packet brokers (NPBs) between those bypass switches or taps and the security and monitoring tools. The packet broker allows you to optimize the data sent to the tools. Once installed, you can perform data filtering, SSL/TLS decryption, deduplication, packet slicing, header stripping, and many
other functions to optimize the data before it is sent to your monitoring and security appliances. Load balancing and high availability options deliver even more architecture reliability.
The third layer of a visibility architecture – Network security solutions
It consists of the monitoring and security appliances. Examples include intrusion prevention systems (IPS), intrusion detection systems (IDS), web application firewalls (WAF), security information event and management (SIEM), data loss prevention (DLP), etc.
While many organizations have placed an emphasis in the last several years on simply picking the security functions needed and vendor selection, deploying a visibility architecture itself has additional benefits. For instance, once you have your visibility architecture in place, there are several possible ways to optimize your security defenses and workflows.
Here are some examples:
• Insert external bypass switches between the network and security tools to improve network availability and reliability during normal operation.
• Use external bypass switches instead of internal bypass devices for fast replacement of security devices and/or any associated hardware and software upgrades.
• Deploy inline security tools, like an IPS, to inspect incoming data and improve threat detection and isolation without fear of a device failure causing a network failure.
• Perform SSL/TLS decryption within an NPB to save time and simplify your security architecture.
• Perform serial tool chaining of suspect data to improve the data inspection process.
• Insert network packet brokers to improve security device availability by using either n+1 load balancing or High Availability technology.
• Filter out the right kind of necessary data and distribute it to out-of-band tools like a DLP for deep packet inspection.
• Improve the efficiency of security devices, like an IDS, by up to 35% simply by filtering out unnecessary application data being sent to the appliance.
Musato Technologies Network security visibility architecture solutions
Network visibility solutions allow you to get a better understanding of your security architecture—how it is performing, where potential holes (blind spots) exists, and how you can better optimize your security strategy.
Musato Technologies’ network visibility solution involves using network packet brokers in conjunction with SSL decryption, application filtering, bypass switches, and taps. Contact us today to learn more about Musato Technologies’s bypass switches, taps, network packet brokers, NetStack, SecureStack, and AppStack technology along with the solutions that our technical partners offer.