Data privacy, infrastructure protection, traffic monitoring and performance tools all require traffic input from network links. As network tools advance in speed and performance, the visibility tools that feed them must also keep pace.
AI and Machine Learning
Typically, security tools are pre-programmed with algorithms to detect and block certain types of malware. Monitoring tools are designed to look at traffic volumes and patterns. Configuration, deployment and changes are achieved by command line or GUI interaction with a live person.
AI and Machine learning in network tools bring many benefits to networks. AI and machine learning provide tools with power to automatically gain experience from data they see. Machine learning tools can execute processes without manual pre-programming. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows tools to make decisions without pre-defined instructions. Network security tools, armed with these technologies can use live network traffic to learn normal patterns, detect anomalies and automatically make decisions about how and when to block potential attacks. Many tools can actually predict potential vulnerabilities and make adjustments prior to the actual occurrence of a security breach.
TAPs and Packet Brokers
TAPs and Packet Brokers connect tools to network links, make a copy of the traffic on a link and pass that traffic to the tools. TAPs and Packet Brokers can filter out traffic that the monitoring tools do not need and can also be programmed to send a predefined set of traffic to specific ports on the tools. This parsing of traffic increases the speed and efficiency of monitoring tools by eliminating filter and mapping functions from their processes.
The Age of Tool Specialization
Network speed and complexity continues to grow. Applications and compute power can be housed in a local data center, somewhere off in a distant cloud or a combination of both. Access to stored information is equally complex. Information is not always locked away in a protected server. Laptops, thumb drives, cloud storage and other devices make protecting confidential information a growing challenge. Further, current network speeds in the 25/40/100Gbps range makes the evaluation of network traffic more complex.