Last updated February 15th, 2023 by Susan Rivera
Now in its fifth year, Tufinnovate kicked off this week in the Americas. To introduce the event, Tufin CEO Ruvi Kitov took the audience through the world of access and connectivity and how the pandemic has changed the landscape.
Today’s large enterprises must find a way to not only balance security and agility, but to improve both at the same time. This is no easy task considering most organizations have a hybrid network and use IaaS and PaaS, not to mention the rapid adoption of container-based development practices. Corporate networks will continue to grow in complexity, making them unmanageable. That is, without policy management.
That, Ruvi says, is the foundation of Tufin’s strategy and what guides the company’s journey into the future.
By 2024, Tufin will be the Security Policy Platform – a unified suite addressing access policies everywhere: physical networks, SDN, private cloud, public cloud, and all security controls.
Looking specifically at the cloud, most customers have challenges securing access and connectivity in the cloud. These challenges stem from the blurred responsibility among network security and cloud security teams; a plethora of cloud security controls which can be confusing and constantly change with the landscape; and the use of many different cloud platforms and technologies across the environment. One of the most pressing needs – and something Ruvi hears from Tufin customers frequently – is the need for visibility across the entire network.
What are the steps Ruvi is taking to become the Security Policy Platform? The details include a pluggable architecture for wider platform coverage, an extensive marketplace of apps to extend topology and policy insights across security fabric, and a new Tufin Orchestration Suite platform coming soon, enabling the shift to SaaS, and the ability to scale out to the largest networks on earth.
Managing the Complexity by Tufin CTO & Co-Founder Reuven Harrison
Reuven began his session discussing the ways that Covid impacted the security industry. Organizations needed to allow their employees to connect remotely, resulting in a greater attack surface and more security challenges. People were connecting at a lower level of trust, and attackers took notice.
Reuven outlined the major security issues that made headlines during the pandemic, including a boom in spear-phishing attacks, ransomware, software supply chain attacks, and attacks in the cloud. Because most malware is delivered via email and depends on a human response (clicking on a malicious link) in order to work, the increase in these attacks really highlights the need to improve the human factor of security.
Next, Reuven looked at the major trends in the market including cloud and Zero Trust. Today, there are two types of companies: those that are born in the cloud and those that are migrating to the cloud. Investment in the cloud continues to grow, and most organizations have adopted containers and are migrating workloads in their multi-cloud environments. Reuven also pointed out that he has seen more usage in advanced cloud services as a way to sharpen a company’s competitive edge.
Reuven then segued into a discussion around security policy management and highlighted the problems that Tufin users more commonly face, including network complexity and policy management processes and controls.
There is an ongoing debate regarding access change processes. If you make a change but don’t make it the right way, you can leave holes for attackers to enter the network. There are two approaches:
- Apply traditional processes across the hybrid network
- Shift to a modern/cloud style process across the board
In most cases, Reuven sees a mix whereby traditional security controls and processes are being implemented at the macro level and cloud processes on the micro level. To close out the session, Reuven shared some teasers about what users can expect from Tufin in the future, including solution updates, user experience, Tufin Marketplace apps, and cloud capabilities.
Customer case study: “drive further agility and speed for digital transformation”
Next up, the audience heard from a Tufin customer within the retail industry. This industry suffered a big hit due to the pandemic as traditional brick and mortar shops had to quickly evolve. This rapid change required streamlining and automation, and Tufin delivered on those needs. The main challenge this customer faced was how to leverage the existing data center investment while remaining competitive against the cloud operating model. Meeting this challenge required agility, speed, responsiveness, and the ability to maintain security with a faster pace of change. Another challenge was that manual processes often resulted in misconfigurations which required a high percentage of rework. In addition, business owners requesting changes didn’t understand the technical aspect of their requests, creating problems and leading to slow implementation as some requests would take 2-3 weeks. It was clear they needed automation. The customer implemented SecureTrack and SecureChange about two years ago. Like most Tufin customers, they took a phased approach in order to lay the groundwork prior to adopting full automation. Here is a quick look at their approach:
- Gain visibility of their topology by understanding firewalls and routers and pulling them into Tufin
- Complete a health check to confirm that all devices are properly connected
- Clean up duplicate objects, shadowed objects, and redundant rules. As a result of this exercise, the customer reduced over 20% of the rule base.
- Configure basic access request workflow. At this stage, the customer started feeding proposed changes to Tufin and confirmed design recommendations were accurate. As a result, they decreased design review from 7-10 days to 3-4 days.
- Expand Tufin beyond the enterprise security team. At this phase, Tufin was available for use by developers, app owners, network operations, and security operations. This drastically reduced the volume of requests, eliminated wasted effort researching duplicate requests, and empowered the rest of the IT team.
- Implement risk management, starting with broad basic rules to evaluate traffic crossing boundaries. This phase resulted in an easier review of potentially risky changes and a better understanding of the source of requests.
The benefits of this customer’s adoption of Tufin fall into two categories: productivity and accuracy and security.
- Access changes provisioned in days not weeks
- More time for other projects
- Decreased rework
- Coordination across teams
- Gained and maintained compliance
Accuracy and security:
- Eliminated manual processes and associated manual errors
- Visibility to remove blind spots
- Automation for optimization and clean up
As the customer looks ahead to what’s next in their Tufin journey, their ultimate goal is to “drive further agility and speed for digital transformation. That’s a wrap on the first day of Tufinnovate Americas. Join us on Day 2 as we welcome investigative journalist Kim Zetter to the Tufin stage to deliver the keynote. Registration is still open! We hope to see you there.