Welcome!

XML Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, PagerDuty Blog, Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner

Related Topics: Security, Java, XML, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Cloud Expo

Security: Article

Network Security Operations in an Increasingly Application-Centric World

It’s Bridge-Building Time

Using technology to break down corporate silos within IT is not a new concept, but seeing it in action is a testament to the power technology has to transform business. One area of IT that is currently undergoing such a transformation is network security operations. Over the past few years, complexity has been the catalyst for automating critical facets of network security operations. Having reaped the benefits that come with automating outdated manual processes, administrators have found that a deeper challenge exists: network security operations as whole must evolve in order to account for an increasingly application -centric enterprise.

Business-critical applications such as CRM, ERP, Payroll and HR systems - not to mention sophisticated e-commerce and back-end transaction processing systems - have become the lifeblood of the modern enterprise. These applications need to be up and running 24/7. Now that a much-needed wave of automation has given network security operations teams more breathing room, they have found that one of the most important things the business wants from them is to ensure the connectivity requirements of these business-critical applications are being met. Commissioning applications, de-commissioning applications, managing a major upgrade or bug fix, or rolling out a new enterprise application are all items that can impact application availability. Additionally, mergers, acquisitions, data center consolidations and other and technology transitions require IT departments to translate application connectivity requirements into firewalls policies that are secure and if applicable, align with any internal or regulatory mandates.

While these tasks are mainly the charter of applications teams, network security teams have become increasingly involved in managing these aspects of application connectivity. In fact, managing application connectivity requirements has become the main reason rule (a.k.a policy) changes are made to network devices such as firewalls, switches, routers, web proxies and load balancers. However, these devices were not necessarily designed to manage application connectivity as a specific business requirement, so extracting the necessary information needed to manage application connectivity is extremely difficult. Application-connectivity related data is parsed across numerous network devices and rules within those devices. It is also constantly changing.

Furthermore, it is not something that operations teams can create from scratch or in a vacuum. They need to communicate with application owners in order to get information such as server IP addresses, port numbers, database, LDAP, authentication and other servers needed to ensure the application runs smoothly, and they need to make sure that application owners are aware of and account for relevant changes that impact other aspects of application management.

However, network security teams and application teams have not had much interaction. While these two groups now share a common need to access and manage application connectivity-related data, there is little, if any, common ground between them. They have different agendas, use different lingo, and are measured on different criteria. Network Security teams care about network security, regulation compliance and risks. Applications teams care about service delivery, application up-time and business continuity.

This has presented a new set of challenges - business process and communication issues that require attention. It's no secret that these two teams must find a way to work in harmony to implement increasingly complex security requirements without compromising the organization's business objectives. This is where technology can be used to quite literally to bridge the existing gaps that exist between these two groups. It is a people, as opposed to a device-oriented approach to managing IT. And it is in this capacity - the use of technology to break down existing silos within IT - where technology can be truly transformative, in the very best sense of the word.

While Next Generation firewalls have introduced the concept of application-awareness to network security, both network security operations teams and application teams require application connectivity-awareness. In order to achieve it they need to change their whole approach to their jobs, and start collaborating with each other. But until these two silos are aligned with a single set of objectives, they are sure to continue along parallel lines. The good news is that this problem has now reached critical mass, and the market is responding. Good automation usually accomplishes two things - it either simplifies complexity or simplifies processes. While both are equally important, there is something to be said for using technology to bring people together. It's good to see process automation happening in the network security operations world. It's time to knock down the walls that prevent network and application administrators from communicating the way the need to in an application-centric world.

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down..."

--Robert Frost, Mending Wall

More Stories By Shaul Efraim

Shaul Efraim is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Tufin Technologies. He brings more than 18 years of results-oriented industry experience in key sales and marketing management roles. He has driven Tufin’s message through the creation of powerful channel, customer relations and marketing programs, highlighting the company’s unmatched expertise in firewall change management solutions and dedication to technical excellence.

Previously, Shaul held positions as various product management and technical marketing roles at Check Point Software, as well as PortAuthority Technologies and Eastronics Company. With a rich technical and marketing background, he holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...