The Importance of Network Visibility in a Growing Threat Landscape

Posted by Fuel HQ on Dec 19, 2017 9:15:45 AM

Tuseday, December 19, 2017

Network security is increasingly complex, and busy security teams face the challenge of needing full visibility and threat detection capabilities. Network visibility is a key step in preventing cybersecurity attacks, but the reality is that resource-constrained teams already support a wide range of security appliances to help guard their companies from a growing threat landscape. In some cases, they are managing more than any one person, or even team, can use effectively. What can cybersecurity professionals do to address this concern while maintaining efficiency and avoiding resource strain?     

Using the Past to Prepare for the Future

Being able to identify threats while they present themselves, or even before they appear, can greatly reduce possible damage to network security. In fact, rather than addressing a threat as it’s present, companies need to leverage historical data to identify what happened in the past to better prepare for the future – before it’s too late. “Often, observed threats are not taken seriously unless they have become the news,” Fuel User Group member Yasir Irfan noted, warning of the need for historical insight. “Based on historical analysis, someone with a good understanding of threats can derive what kind of danger a threat possesses and what impact it will have on the network when that threat is exploited.” Irfan recalls that advance logs analysis tools and greater network visibility are what ultimately allowed his company’s security analyst to identify threats posed by recent security attacks in the news and mitigate these threats before they were even realized.  

Analyzing with Precision

When a new threat emerges, executives want to know if and how the company could be impacted. Too often, however, teams are not able to cite specific numbers. This can often be because they are relying on a purely log-centric model.

Instead, companies should be working with tools that help create a clearer picture of sometimes confusing data. In a recent Fuel webinar, David Gold, Vice President of Product Management at Protectwise, recalled a time when taking a step back and analyzing historic data was key. One of his customers, he noted, had a client who was concerned about a breach after seeing activity come through their network. The customer tracked down that machine and pulled its historic forensic data, ultimately finding the client network was breached, but sensitive data had not been transmitted. This saved both parties valuable time that otherwise might have been spent searching for lost data that was never lost.

Fuel User Group member Paul Carter points to the famous quote from Edmund Burke that says, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it” when describing how best to prepare the network. He adds, “Also, not knowing the history of a network can spell doom, and there may not be a chance to repeat. Companies are looking to maximize their ROI on personnel and technology to protect the environment while doing it effectively and efficiently.”

Carter believes a tool designed to greatly enhance the analysis and memory capabilities of a company’s personnel while having a smaller footprint will alleviate much of the pressure associated with the core business activity of protecting the environment. This will allow a company to utilize the resources and time it gained towards other core business areas.

When cybersecurity professionals are able to find threats quickly, efficiently analyze possible impacts, and minimize damage, security systems become easier to manage. In a world where one or two people can be responsible for so much, precision and accuracy are essential. Network visibility and tools that allow for historical review of data can reduce the stress on a company and result in time saved. The more steps taken to boost network visibility, the closer organizations will get to addressing today’s increasingly complex environments and threat vectors.

For more information and tips for increasing network visibility, Fuel members can stream the webinar “See Threats in Real Time with 100% Visibility.” 

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Further Reading

Check out these Fuel blogs for further reading:

 

Topics: Cybersecurity, Fuel Webcast, Fuel Education, Palo Alto Networks, Data Breaches, Webinar, strategies for security, network visibility, cybersecurity tools

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The latest and greatest in cybersecurity news, trends, and technical resources. Insights and analysis come from expert users of Palo Alto Networks technology, hand-picked from among the Fuel community

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