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Last updated September 18th, 2023 by Avigdor Book

Enterprises today have a hard time gaining visibility across increasingly complex hybrid networks and cloud infrastructure. According to research from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), only 34% of organizations believe they are successful in their approach to visibility, with architectural complexity, skill gaps, and limited visibility into the cloud named as top challenges. Many of these issues stem from the fragmented nature of large, multi-vendor hybrid cloud environments. 

Network security (NetSec) teams, in particular, are not happy with the level of visibility they have in the cloud. Many try to extend existing solutions into the cloud but don’t get the desired results. That’s why the vast majority (89%) of organizations believe it’s important to achieve an end-to-end visibility architecture spanning on-prem and the cloud. 78% say they plan to invest more in visibility tools in the near future. 

Not all network visibility and security solutions are created equal. Find out why network visibility is so vital, how the cloud makes things more complex, and what is required to achieve true, end-to-end network visibility. 

Why is end-to-end network visibility important? 

End-to-end network visibility is a baseline requirement for a successful network security program. In order to have a clear understanding of your current security posture, identify risky elements, and develop effective policies to mitigate risk, you must have complete awareness — and contextual understanding — of what is happening across the entire hybrid network. 

Without comprehensive network visibility, your organization will not be able to properly adhere to its security policies, resulting in greater risk of a security incident, loss of customer data, and noncompliance penalties. Lack of visibility can also lead to increased mean time to resolution for application connectivity errors, resulting in rework and lengthened development time that ultimately delays the delivery of revenue-generating apps. 

On the other hand, when end-to-end network visibility is achieved, it is a catalyst for stronger security and risk mitigation as well as increased business speed and revenue. Enterprises that reach an ideal state of visibility will realize benefits such as: 

  • Reduced security risk. 

  • Faster mean time to resolution (MTTR). 

  • Constant audit readiness. 

  • Effective network change automation. 

  • Improved time to value for apps. 

How does the cloud make end-to-end network visibility more difficult? 

Just as cloud adoption has brought speed and efficiency to the modern enterprise, it has also introduced complexity and confusion in terms of security. Traditional networks were built with a number of diverse technologies (switches, routers, servers, firewalls, etc.) that NetSec learned to control over the years. Now teams are being forced to adapt to a new set of cloud technologies and vendors, each with its own terminology, features, and use case. Additionally, some of these technologies are managed by users or teams outside the purview of network security.  

As organizations continue to migrate applications to the cloud, NetSec is expected to keep up with a significant increase in demand for cloud connections. Since each network and cloud vendor has a separate pane of glass to manage its products, teams must switch between consoles and tools to see what’s happening at a given time. Organizations also tend to have experts or SMEs for different vendors, since each cloud product or provider requires specialized knowledge. 

All of this makes cloud-based exchanges nearly impossible to keep up with manually. According to the previously mentioned EMA report, hybrid network blind spots introduced by the cloud lead to issues such as: 

  • Security policy violations for 49% of enterprises. 

  • IT service problems or downtime for 46% of enterprises. 

  • Security breaches for 45% of enterprises. 

Additionally, because cloud environments change rapidly with resources constantly being scaled up and down, real-time visibility is key. Teams must be able to see and understand the current state of the hybrid network. It doesn’t matter what it looked like a few days or even a few hours ago. 

The best way to achieve end-to-end network visibility

To get an accurate picture of your enterprise’s current security picture, Tufin offers a centralized solution that unlocks end-to-end network visibility across the hybrid cloud, no matter the product or provider. Without a consolidated network visibility platform like Tufin, NetSec has to check a variety of tools and consoles just to gain a vague picture of whether or not security mechanisms are configured properly to effectively protect the organization — a major waste of time and resources that is prone to errors. 

In other words, Tufin allows NetSec teams to extend the same level of awareness and control they are used to having in traditional networks into the cloud. The platform provides the broadest possible coverage of your environment at scale, eliminating blind spots and enabling strong security governance. Its industry-leading topology map, for instance, offers dynamic visualizations of all network devices, security mechanisms, and zones for real-time access analysis and trouble-shooting. 

This end-to-end network visibility goes hand in hand with Tufin’s advanced automation capabilities that drastically reduce time spent managing network access changes and rule lifecycle management. In fact, Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ of Tufin report found that enterprises using Tufin experience an 80% lower risk of a vulnerability-related breach, a 94% reduction in effort for network change analysis and implementation, and a 95% increase in audit and reporting efficiency.

“The main drivers [to adopt Tufin] were to increase automation and visibility into the network and firewall topology. Ultimately, we wanted to accelerate the delivery of firewall requests. We wanted to deliver faster.” – Network security lead, financial services company 

The fastest path to end-to-end network visibility

Featuring the broadest integration ecosystem in the space — including AWS, Azure, GCP, Check Point, Cisco, Forcepoint, Fortinet, Juniper, Palo Alto Networks, VMware, and Zscaler — Tufin’s end-to-end network visibility enables unparalleled security policy automation and effective vulnerability prioritization. This vastly improves security posture and makes it easier to maintain continuous compliance, ultimately increasing the organization’s agility. 

Now that you understand how to overcome the perils of fragmented network visibility, it’s time to address other challenges that the cloud has introduced to your hybrid environment. Download Six Ways the Cloud Changes Everything about Enterprise Network Security to learn more about how you can remediate security issues more quickly, maximize efficiency, and stay audit-ready year round.

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