Home Interview Interview with Vinay Sharma, Regional Director, India and SAARC, NETSCOUT

Interview with Vinay Sharma, Regional Director, India and SAARC, NETSCOUT


Though edge computing is increasingly being adopted these days, it has the potential to expand the potential attack surface for enterprises, says Vinay Sharma, Regional Director, India and SAARC, NETSCOUT, who in an interaction with CIO AXIS, talks about how their solutions enable business continuity in the new era of growing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks.

CIO AXIS: What does NETSCOUT Systems Inc., do? Please share a brief about the organization, product, solutions, and milestones achieved.
Vinay: NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, INC. (NASDAQ: NTCT) assures digital business services against disruptions in availability, performance, and security. Our market and technology leadership stems from combining our patented smart data technology with smart analytics. We provide real-time, pervasive visibility, and insights customers need to accelerate and secure their digital transformation. Our approach transforms the way organizations plan, deliver, integrate, test, and deploy services and applications. Our nGenius service assurance solutions provide real-time, contextual analysis of service, network, and application performance. Arbor security solutions protect against DDoS attacks that threaten availability and advanced threats that infiltrate networks to steal critical business assets.

CIO AXIS: Enterprises are benefiting from edge computing with data processing and computing getting closer to ‘edge’. On the other hand, what are the challenges of adopting edge computing?
Vinay: Yes, edge computing is increasingly being adopted today, as it allows enterprises to process, analyze, filter, and store data close to the source, so they can act on it faster. According to Frost & Sullivan, approximately 90% of industrial enterprises will utilize edge computing by 2022.

However, edge computing also expands the potential attack surface too for enterprises. There is higher exposure to DDoS campaigns, data theft, and intrusions into the enterprise network. IT and security teams use several security monitoring solutions for applications, network infrastructures, and cloud environments. Network and Security teams maintain separate tools and reports too. Hence, controlling tool sprawl is one of the challenges. It increases the efforts for analysis, introduces potential network conflicts, creates limitations on the infrastructure to accommodate new solutions, and builds collaborative inefficiencies with disparate and often conflicting data from multiple tools.

The other challenge is achieving multi-cloud visibility as enterprises are also increasingly depending on multi-cloud environments – public, private, and hybrid cloud services.

Edge deployments are becoming a challenge when enterprise teams attempt to manage applications across different edge sites.

CIO AXIS: In the global economy, enterprise networks are getting more complex, and so are cyber-attacks. What is the role of network visibility in such a situation and how is NETSCOUT helping organizations in this aspect?
Vinay: There is a growing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks, where AI and machine learning technologies are used to evade detection and forensics. Only in the network, the adversaries will not succeed in erasing their tracks. When the applications are spread beyond their own data center into CoLo, Cloud, or SaaS environments, there are several edges to the combined network. Many a time, the security teams have limited or no visibility into it.

Furthermore, with automation and orchestration, the teams also have no direct control over such environments. Only proper network visibility of the traffic flow can help to solve the problem,

NETSCOUT’s network visibility solutions constantly evolve with changing business needs. They maintain visibility across the entire chain irrespective of where they are hosted and accessed from.

nGenius Packet Flow Systems from NETSCOUT solves the problem of limited packet visibility by creating a unified packet plane that logically separates security systems from the network, thereby de-risking and streamlining all security deployments.

NETSCOUT Smart Edge Monitoring delivers the much-needed visibility throughout ever-evolving, multi-cloud environments to solve performance issues.

CIO AXIS: Describe the Smart Edge Monitoring solution from NETSCOUT and how can it help to enhance cloud and network edge performances?
Vinay: Digital transformations, SaaS adoptions, Cloud migrations, and a hybrid workforce have significantly altered the complexity of today’s connected world. Unfortunately, performance problems have become more complex and challenging where lack of visibility and control is key among them. Only borderless visibility can help in solving this. NETSCOUT Smart Edge Monitoring brings visibility throughout the ever-evolving multi-cloud environment to solve performance issues affecting digital services across enterprise technology and organizational boundaries. It is a revolutionary combination of NETSCOUT’s nGeniusONE Service Assurance solution with nGenius®PULSE. nGeniusONE leverages Adaptive Service Intelligence® (ASI) smart data from InfiniStreamNG® (ISNG) appliances and vSTREAM® virtual appliances for packet monitoring and deployed at key service edges. This provides borderless visibility across multiple domains, including the network edges and the data center and cloud service edges for application and network performance analysis, as well as troubleshooting throughout complex multi-cloud environments. NETSCOUT’s nGeniusPULSE platform leverages synthetic testing, including configurable business transaction tests, performed by nPoint devices deployed in the critical client edges,
including home and remote locations. This provides monitoring visibility into availability and performance from the user perspective, of on-premises, cloud-based, and SaaS applications.

CIO AXIS: Cybersecurity is becoming a top business priority for organizations, across industries. How is the role of CISO evolving with this change?
Vinay: A CISO or Chief Information Security Officer is a senior-level executive who is responsible for planning and implementing a cybersecurity strategy.

The role of the CISO has been in existence for close to three decades now. In the earlier days, CISO’s role was narrowly defined and not considered to be of high importance for the business. It only demanded good tech skills and a basic understanding of defensive technologies and tools.

However, the role, today is growing in importance and expanding with cybersecurity evolving into a business strategy and not just remaining as an IT initiative.

Organizations across all industries are victims of high-profile cyber-attacks and facing the challenge of major data breaches. The role of the CISO has become complex unlike in earlier times and has come a long way, from cybersecurity risk managers to business enablers. The expanded responsibilities include heading a team of security professionals to manage the organization’s security posture, address threats in real-time, and ensure attacks are mitigated. They have to conduct security training and establish systems, processes, and security protocols. Additionally, they have to develop soft skills to manage people, including non-technical, and strategically communicate with them about the importance of security measures. They need to have a clear understanding of the organization’s business goals and know where cybersecurity intersects.

Today, CISO has a combination of roles and is a member of the C-Suite, with digital security occupying a place in the boardroom. Being a security advisor to the Board, CISOs are not only responsible for security strategy but business strategy as well. They have to work toward addressing future threats while keeping in view the business goals of the organization.

CIO AXIS: DDoS attacks are increasing in number and becoming more complex. How can cloud platforms be secured against DDoS attacks?
Vinay: NETSCOUT’s Arbor DDoS solution has been protecting the world’s largest and most demanding networks from DDoS attacks for more than a decade. The best way to protect resources from modern DDoS attacks is through a multi-layer deployment of purpose-built DDoS mitigation solutions.

It is only a tightly integrated, multi-layer defense that can protect businesses from the full spectrum of DDoS attacks, which is offered by Arbor Cloud. Arbor Edge Defense is for on-premises and Arbor SP/Threat Mitigation System is a high-capacity on-premise solution for large organizations. NETSCOUT also provides the micro view of the organization’s network combined through our products combined with a macro view of global internet traffic by leveraging NETSCOUT Omnis Threat Horizon, which is an interface to our ATLAS Threat Intelligence and a DDoS Attack Map visualization.

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