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Part 1: Stories from the field- freeing up network analysts’ time


What does a typical day look like for networking and security professionals in large organizations, and how does AlgoSec help?

I recently posted a blog about my CouchTalk session with our Product Marketing Manager, Yitzy Tannenbaum. We talked about my experiences of working with hundreds of organizations globally, how their approaches to security differ, and how they address the wider enterprise security landscape as it evolves.

That first blog looked at how cloud computing is driving transformations in enterprise security – and in turn, how this is making security much more complex. We discussed the need for large organizations to break down the siloed processes between cloud and DevOps, and networking and security.

But what does this look like on a day-to-day basis for personnel in these disciplines? What does their working day look like, what challenges do they face – and crucially, how does the AlgoSec solution suite help make their lives easier?

Troubleshooting takeover

Troubleshooting problems have plagued network analysts for years, especially in the absence of an effective networking security management solution. The number one thing I hear from network analysts in terms of how they are spending their time is dealing with requests that come in, say from business analysts who are frustrated that their application is not working. This is problematic for a few reasons; it’s a waste of their highly specialized skills and experience, and quite frankly it’s boring!

The goal should be for network analysts to be spending more of their time on designing and architecting networks and implementing them in ways that are going to be beneficial for their businesses. They should be considered a huge business asset, proactively driving innovation and competitiveness.

How AlgoSec helps

This is where AlgoSec comes in, freeing up network analysts’ time to focus on that more strategic work through a range of different functions.

Let’s return to that business analyst who is dissatisfied with the application not working. Typically, network analysts would have to spend a lot of time figuring out what the problem is. Is it the network? Is it the firewall? Is it the application server? With AlgoSec, they’re able to automatically check the path of that application across the network, affirming that every device allows that traffic.

Instant chat for greater agility

We also talked about the role of AlgoBot in making this process even more agile. An intelligent chatbot that handles network security policy management, AlgoBot enables application owners to carry out this troubleshooting process themselves.

This works because once AlgoSec has visibility into all of an organization’s routing infrastructure, firewalls, cloud infrastructure, SDN and so on, we can stitch together and visualize the whole network offline. Using that data, we are then able to run a path simulation for every application. If a business analyst wants to troubleshoot something that moves across the network from cloud to SDN, they simply input their endpoints and AlgoSec computes that path and identifies how each device affects that.

That’s the native functionality in our product suite – but if we then integrate the AlgoBot chatbot, then personnel within the organization can gain visibility into the process via their standard enterprise instant messaging (IM) solution, like Slack or Skype for Business. They don’t even need to touch the AlgoSec UI – they can ask the chatbot ‘can asset X talk to asset Y?’ and get an automated answer back.

The implications for network analysts are profound – their troubleshooting responsibilities are taken away almost at the click of a button. Which means, in turn, that ‘a day in the life of a network analyst’ gets more interesting, more strategic and more innovative.

Interested in learning more? Watch the full CouchTalk video with Kyle and Yitzy.

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