Network Visibility Is Vital For Combatting Attacks

by Sohini Bagchi    Apr 13, 2017


IT Networks are growing more complex in recent times and so are the compliance regulations that are keeping them in check. With network attacks increasing in both volume and frequency, creating an avalanche of threat data, IT administrators who are already under tremendous pressure, are increasingly realizing that meeting business demands requires more than just the right tools and people, but also greater intelligent management. It is here that the importance of network visibility tools and practices play a key role by quickly identifying, interpreting, and acting on threats.

Ixia Technologies helps organizations gain visibility and insights into their IT infrastructure, enabling enterprises to become more agile, secure and cost effective. The company with its India head office in Gurgaon is also on a major expansion spree in the country. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Murali Ramalingam, Country Manager - Sales, India, Ixia, explains the importance of network visibility and why ‘visibility as a service’ can be an interesting area to watch out for in the coming years.

CXOToday: Network monitoring or visibility is an emerging technology in India. What are the key drivers for its adoption?

Ramalingam: Stronger applications, tighter security, and higher return on IT investments are among the key deciding factors for the adoption of network visibility. Today’s networks are growing swiftly in both size and complexity, presenting new challenges for IT and network administrators. IT challenges are further complicated by increasingly high customer expectations for always-on access and immediate application response. This complexity creates network “blind spots” where latent errors germinate and pre-attack activity lurks. The answer to these challenges is a highly scalable visibility architecture that helps eliminate blind spots while providing resilience and control without complexity.

CXOToday: What do you foresee as the key trends in network visibility in the next 12-18 months?

Ramalingam: Throughout 2017, we will see an increased emphasis on network visibility, and by 2018 approximately 60 percent of the enterprises implementing the appropriate network visibility will experience  fewer security failures. Organizations are moving to a cloud-based environment and they must prepare for the security and control risks associated with the cloud. Organization’s operations are dependent on an environment with a huge visibility gap, and they are now realizing that this has to change to keep their data secure.

CXOToday: In India, what are the key verticals adopting this technology and why?

Ramalingam: Government organizations, telecom companies, and financial institutions are the key verticals adopting network visibility. It’s no secret that government networks are among the most targeted. The stakes are high, and attackers know they must use more evasive tactics to penetrate these networks. Attacks on government networks can lead to tremendous loss, whether of strategic, political, monetary or intelligence value.Attacks on telecommunication operator’s network could also scale up to other networks through the interconnection interfaces. The intruders can, therefore, gain access to their targets irrespective of the geographical location. They use highly sophisticated arsenals, not leading to physical destruction, but stealing organizational and personal sensitive information for financial benefits, competitive advantage, and state-sponsored attacks.

CXOToday: Can you explain the concept ‘visibility as a service’ and how this model can benefit the enterprise? 

Ramalingam: Visibility-as-a-Service enables IT organizations to access network traffic across their entire infrastructure on demand, whether it resides in a public or private cloud, branch office, campus, or data center. Network visibility is key to the performance and security of  network and the applications that run on it. However, access to the network to tap into data flows may not always be easy. When workloads transit the public cloud, visibility can be lost. To address this, VaaS enable access across any deployment and in particular the public cloud.

Enterprise applications are currently making a dramatic shift from traditional data centers to the public cloud. Proving visibility and in turn security in such diverse environments has become a huge challenge. The average company uses between 10 and 16 cloud applications according to our latest survey. With more and more cloud-based apps, more data is moving outside the traditional data center. IT needs to focus on security and compliance for their instances and usage, which can best be addressed with a cloud visibility solution. VaaS enables organizations to view their public cloud network traffic in an elastic and scalable manner.

CXOToday: Can you tell us about the company’s latest public cloud security platform?

Ramalingam: CloudLens Public, our latest public cloud security platform provides Visibility-as-a-Service (VaaS) and the first to be implemented as a pure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. It is designed from the ground up to retain the benefits of the cloud – elastic scale, flexibility, and agility. CloudLens Public provides intelligent and automated visibility as a service that scales with public cloud infrastructures. Access to application and network data in cloud environments is critical for security and monitoring tools to ensure the reliability, security, and performance of mission-critical applications.

CXOToday: What’s Ixia’s India roadmap in the next 1-2 years in terms of growth and expansion?

Ramalingam: We have an exciting roadmap for next couple years. We are seeing an increased growth in the adoption for digital platforms, especially with the digital India initiative bearing fruits. Besides, implementation of GST, development of smart cities and 5G hopefully getting implemented, we are highly optimistic. All of these bring unique opportunities for Ixia. At present, we are focussed on working with regulatory authroities, enterprises and  our customers to provide them with most cutting edge, innovative technology that keeps them above the curve. We have announced our public cloud security platform and are committed to its growth. Globally, we are expanding global network of reseller partners by instituting a 100 percent channel sales model for enterprises and India too is a key market in this regard. We see tremendous growth in our stated VaaS offerings in the coming months.