Keith Bromley
Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Ixia
Blog

See Your Network Like Never Before

February 15, 2017 by Keith Bromley

Today’s businesses rely on their applications. It is no longer just about creating the underlying network for IT. It is about IT’s ability to deliver an amazing customer experience across all network environments—whether they are physical, virtual, or cloud-based. The challenge is to ensure that the infrastructure which delivers these applications is reliable, fast and secure. This includes contributing to the overall security of the network by using context aware data processing to expose indicators of compromise, provide geolocation of attack vectors, combat SSL encrypted threats, and provide 24 x 7 uptime. In addition, businesses need to control costs which means exposing hidden problems (blind spots) within the network, reducing time to resolution for problems, and creating a robust architecture that provides lossless visibility across the network to help mitigate security breaches as fast as possible and before bad actors can do much damage.

Lack of network visibility

Most businesses today struggle with the following issues:

  1. Blind spots have become such a serious security issue for enterprises and service providers that they are preventing 75% or more businesses from knowing that they have suffered a security breach
  2. There is a serious and growing increase in security threats from encrypted data that contains hidden malware
  3. Mean time to repair figures continue to remain high with up to 85% of MTTR just spent on trying to figure out what the problem is
  4. Most businesses are not getting optimal results from their monitoring & security tools even though they are making significant investments in those tools

Unfortunately, every network has blind spots. Common sources of blind spots include:  Silo IT organizations, SPAN port overloading, rogue IT, SSL encrypted data, data overload of monitoring equipment, and network and equipment complexity. These blind spots directly correlate to network problems and outages, increased network security risk, and potential regulatory compliance issues. The situation will only get worse, especially with data overload. A Cisco report states that global IP traffic will triple from 72.5 EB per month in 2015 to 194.4 EB per month in 2020.

In fact, blind spots have become a serious security issue for enterprises and service providers. According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, most victimized companies don’t discover security breaches themselves. Approximately 75% have to be informed by law enforcement and 3rd parties (customers, supplier, business partners, etc.) that they have been breached. In addition, the report found that the time it takes for businesses to discover they have been breached is taking longer than it used to, while the pace of security attacks is increasing; creating even more probabilities for successful security breaches. Encrypted data further exacerbates the situation. According to a Bluecoat blog, half of all network security attacks in 2017 will use encrypted traffic to bypass controls.

In addition, internal and external SLA’s and customer quality of experience have become increasingly important for IT. These requirements are forcing IT to gain an even better insight and understanding of the network to maximize performance. What no IT team wants to find out is that all of their assumptions and architecture designs are based on incorrect or missing data. When this happens, it results in higher solution costs, confusion, rework, customer dissatisfaction, performance problems, and unplanned outages. Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research asserts that, “Problem identification is IT’s biggest challenge.” He explains that 85% of the mean time to repair (MTTR) is the time taken just to identify that there is in fact, an issue. The actual problem resolution time is incremental to this time.

Visibility architectures solve the problem

IT security and analytics tools are only as good as the data they are seeing.  IT’s fundamental challenge is to ensure that the infrastructure under these tools delivers applications that are reliable, fast, and secure. Visibility solutions, like IxVision, enable IT to combat blind spots and quickly isolate the resulting security threats and resolve performance issues; ultimately ensuring the best possible end user experience. Without visibility, IT can only operate reactively to problems and may be ineffective at eliminating those problems.

Having visibility that you can count on is crucial. The larger and more complex your network gets, the greater the probability of network blind spots. Blind spots are directly related to risk and cost. To solve these problems, enterprises and service providers can implement a visibility architecture that allows them to get a complete and coherent view of their network. A visibility architecture gives them the visibility to see the blind spots they were missing. This visibility architecture includes extensive and thorough data access options for any type of network. It also includes a resilient infrastructure that can rapidly resolve issues. Finally, application intelligence capabilities allow businesses to prevent many network problems and significantly reduce the impact of network problems that do occur. Without intelligence, monitoring solutions are not able to keep pace with the growing sophistication of cyberattacks, application issues, and regulatory compliance requirements. Not only does intelligence ensure that your system is constantly current, but it also ensures your resources are used efficiently, and focused on what is real and important.

See what is actually happening on your network

Ixia is uniquely positioned to help businesses manage and monitor change in their network. Ixia solutions allow you to see your network like never before and better than you can imagine. The reason is simple. Ixia provides the performance and security tests every leading network and security vendor uses to validate their equipment prior to shipping.  This understanding led to Ixia’s development of the most complete visibility portfolio in the market, ensuring complete data access and intelligent data distribution so security and analytics tools do not suffer from blind spots. Only Ixia has the clear visibility solution, as evidenced by a 2016 Tolly report showing that equipment from another visibility competitor was failing to deliver up to 70% of key monitoring data at line rate. This is extremely disconcerting as missing data creates blind spots that lead to delays in troubleshooting and missed signs of security attacks/breaches. IxVision’s integrated application intelligence ensures the delivery of requisite monitoring data at all times.

Specifically, Ixia’s network packet broker solution delivers a combination of performance, application awareness, and usability capabilities that can eliminate these challenges and lower your total cost of ownership. Crystal clear visibility is what enables network teams to ensure their tools are receiving the right information at the right time, and thus react quickly to new security threats or network requirements. At the same time, equipment usability is one of the most important factors contributing to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a purchase. Ixia’s visibility solution, IxVision, has been proven to be easy to install, easy to configure, and easy to maintain. This ease of use dramatically lowers the TCO of an Ixia solution.

Visit the out-of-band visibility webpage for more information how you can see your network like never before.