As network security grows more elusive, CxOs need to ask their IT departments some tough questions.
The truth is that the tools supporting enterprise IT strategy may be missing up to 80 percent of current data center traffic – and if that vision is not enough to keep you up at night, ask your IT department these questions:
Are we seeing one comprehensive view of traffic or are we operating in partial blindness?
Analyst firm Gartner says that 60 percent of virtualized servers will be less secure than the physical ones they've replaced, due to inadequate IT practices. Virtualization has created blind spots within the IT infrastructure wherein security software and hardware designed for physical environments can't see what's going on in the virtualization layer. Therefore, virtual-machine security requires additional technologies designed specifically to protect and monitor this layer. Don't let the speed of virtualization outstrip your ability to control and protect your network.
How capable is our IT team of performing effective analysis on network activity?
As customers build ultra-high-security, high-performance architectures, the need increases for communication between access architecture and their diverse, complex security tools. In a secure, next-generation architecture, access and tools, regardless of vendor origins, should operate seamlessly in tandem to protect the network and avoid attacks, as well as unplanned traffic bursts, tool errors or failure. In a next-generation platform, one must be able to anticipate the type and flow of arriving traffic in order to warn tools pre-emptively of trouble on the way.
Are we able to build on current infrastructure for the years ahead?
IBM tells us that 90 percent of all data was created in the last two years alone. This level of growth approaches science fiction – but the risk of underestimating the need to locate, diagnose and resolve problems is fact. Given the speed of growth of today's data and voice traffic, the network must evolve from products, and solutions-based thinking toward a dynamic, agile, responsive architecture that embodies end-to-end visibility.