Music for Security Pros

December 1, 2015 by Ixia Blog Team

Living in Austin gives me many opportunities to hear new music. Just 15 minutes from our Austin offices is the location for the annual Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival. Bands come from around the globe to perform for me (and 400,000 of my closest friends). The crowds at ACL are part of the experience, adding their excitement to several stages pumping out music from megabands, mixing their noise with the bands. Sometimes they can even drown out the music.


At a recent ACL festival I was walking past a smaller stage tucked away in a corner. I heard the band say they had driven 15 hours in their van to make it to the festival. This was a big break for them. As they started to play a complex melody, something unusual happened. The band commanded absolute silence around their stage. The crowd stopped to hear every note, every signal, coming from this new group. The usual noise went quiet and we could focus on the melody. It was an important moment for that band, and memorable for the crowd.

Network security is facing a similar problem with noise. Security tools overwhelm everyone with alerts that drown out what we want to hear, the crucial signals that are important to security. CSOOnline recently wrote a great article that highlighted this issue, discussing “tuning” your tools to limit alert fatigue. Tuning is very effective, especially when paired with a limited attack surface for your network.

At Ixia, our security team has a LOT of creative musicians. They talk about the noise problem in security all the time. We recently introduced a new security product that specifically combats security alert noise from security tools and SIEM systems. We call it ThreatARMOR. ThreatARMOR reduces a network’s attack surface by blocking all known bad IP addresses. They figured out that we could feed it using our own Application and Threat Intelligence (ATI) Research Center data to automatically block confirmed threats, hijacked IPs and even entire countries in bulk. If reducing the number of security alerts by just ignoring known bad guys sound like music to your ears, you can learn more about Ixia’s ThreatARMOR here.