Network Performance

The Analyst Experience

As businesses increasingly embrace hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures, comprehensive visibility into network traffic becomes paramount.

That’s where network analysts come in; the analyst experience can be quite challenging!

Fortunately, the dynamic partnership between Armis and Keysight (formerly Ixia) offers a winning combination that elevates cybersecurity to new heights. 

Read more: The Analyst Experience

Download the EMA Report: Network Visibility Architecture for the Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Enterprise

Did you know that only 34% of organizations fully succeed with their network visibility architecture? The top challenges to using this technology are scalability issues and architectural complexity. That’s where the analyst experience comes in.

Network Packet Brokers (NPBs) serve as intelligent intermediaries between the network infrastructure and the tools that monitor and manage it. NPBs ensure that the right data reaches the right monitoring tools, optimize their performance, and enhance overall network visibility.

Analyst Experience (AX) refers to the collective knowledge, skills, and insights that network analysts bring. In the context of NPBs and network visibility, AX becomes a key element in leveraging the full potential of these technologies. More specifically, here’s how AX contributes to optimizing network operations:

  1. Effective Tool Chain Configuration:

Analysts with a deep understanding of network protocols and the specific requirements of monitoring tools can fine-tune the configuration of NPBs to ensure that relevant data is efficiently directed to the appropriate tools. This expertise is crucial in avoiding overload and ensuring monitoring tools receive the most pertinent information.

  1. Proactive Troubleshooting:

AX enables analysts to proactively identify and troubleshoot issues within the network. By interpreting patterns and anomalies in the data provided by NPBs, analysts can quickly pinpoint potential problems, allowing for faster time to problem resolution and minimizing downtime.

  1. Optimizing Traffic Visibility:

NPBs handle massive network traffic, and analysts with strong AX can optimize the filtering and forwarding rules to prioritize critical data. This ensures that monitoring tools receive the necessary information without being overwhelmed by irrelevant or redundant data, enhancing the overall efficiency of the network monitoring process.

  1. Adapting to Evolving Threats:

Cybersecurity threats are ever-evolving, and analysts with a rich AX are better equipped to adapt NPB configurations to detect and mitigate emerging threats. This adaptability is crucial in maintaining a robust defense against constantly changing cybersecurity landscapes.

  1. Collaborative Decision-Making:

AX fosters collaboration among analysts and other stakeholders. By sharing insights and experiences, analysts can collectively enhance the configuration and utilization of NPBs, leading to improved network visibility and more effective decision-making.

Analyst Experience: Why it Matters

Many analysts in Security Operation Centers (SOCs) are increasingly experiencing high levels of stress and burnout, leaving organizations without the best personnel working at their best. That’s precisely why AX should be considered a priority. As we always say, people are the most important yet vulnerable part of any network, and those analyzing the data should be regarded with the highest esteem. 

The prolonged duration required to navigate the intricacies of the event/incident/alert/response process is a key factor contributing to burnout among SOC analytics professionals. The overwhelming volume of events bombarding the SOC, often inadequately analyzed by existing toolsets, leads to an alarming number of false positives. 

This inundation of false positives requires SOC analysts to sift through a sea of “neverminds,” substantially elongating the time to progress through the critical analysis phases and response for genuine alerts. The burden of grappling with an excessive number of false positives intensifies the workload for analysts and hampers their ability to efficiently address authentic security threats, fueling frustration and burnout.

Fortunately, a solution to this predicament is achieving a significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio. Third-party testing has demonstrated that network visibility solutions through packet tracking consistently excel in accurately detecting signals of malicious activity without producing false positives. 

Numerous organizations persist in concentrating on risk management centered around IT security, resulting in the compartmentalization of their teams responsible for overseeing IT, OT, and IoT systems. This approach impedes their ability to gain comprehensive visibility, collaborate across different functions, and, ultimately, safeguard their attack surfaces effectively. The Armis Asset Intelligence and Cybersecurity Platform facilitates the achievement of successful CAASM and CPS Security by:

  • Actively monitoring all IoT, IoMT, OT, and IT assets within your environment, whether managed or unmanaged.
  • Detecting unusual communications that may indicate a potential compromise.
  • Overlaying alerts from diverse sources, including NIST CVE, CVSS, and FDA recalls.
  • Seamlessly integrating with existing CMMS, CMDB, security, network, and data analysis platforms to provide additional insights.

Related Partner Content: Closing Hidden Security Gaps in Zero Trust Architectures

potential of threat intelligence data gathered from diverse SOC tools. As a result, implementing these technologies not only enhances the effectiveness of the SOC but also acts as a crucial preventative measure against burnout among its professionals.

As businesses increasingly navigate the challenges of hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures, the role of Analysts’ Experience (AX) in the context of Network Packet Brokers (NPBs) and network visibility becomes more pivotal than ever. The efficiency of network operations hinges on the expertise of analysts who, armed with a deep understanding of network protocols and the specific requirements of monitoring tools, fine-tune NPB configurations for optimal performance. This expertise is essential in effective toolchain configuration and proactive troubleshooting, optimizing traffic visibility, adapting to evolving threats, and fostering collaborative decision-making.

However, the analyst experience has them grappling with high-stress levels and burnout due to the prolonged duration required to navigate the event/incident/alert/response process. The overwhelming volume of events, often accompanied by a burdensome level of false positives, poses a significant challenge. Fortunately, achieving a better signal-to-noise ratio, demonstrated through third-party testing of network visibility solutions, can be a key solution. 

Moreover, incorporating Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) platforms proves instrumental in streamlining the analyst experience response phase, alleviating them from repetitive tasks, and acting as a crucial preventative measure against burnout. In prioritizing Analysts’ Experience, organizations enhance the effectiveness of their SOC and ensure the well-being of their crucial personnel, recognizing them as a critical part of their network security!