Network Security: FireMon Acquires Lumeta to Visualize Connections

When it comes to cybersecurity, knowing where something that needs to be defended is and what it is connected to can be almost as critical as determining how it’s being attacked. With that issue in mind, FireMon this week acquired Lumeta Corp. to gain access to network mapping software.

FireMon CEO Satin Mirchandani said both the location of an IT asset and its number of physical and virtual connections are underappreciated at a time when malware can move laterally through an enterprise at a surprising rate.

To make it possible to more easily visualize the attack surface that needs to be defended, FireMon plans to leverage REST application programming interfaces (APIs) starting next month to embed Lumeta network-mapping software into its cybersecurity policy management software.

Mirchandani noted that, as IT today is being distributed at unprecedented levels of scale, it’s critical cybersecurity professionals distinguish between what needs to be secured as well as how cybersecurity policies must be applied. If properly managed, cybersecurity policies can be applied at scale using programmable platforms such as the FireMon Global Policy Controller regardless of the number of cybersecurity professionals on staff, he said.

The unemployment rate among cybersecurity professionals today is a negative number. As a result, cybersecurity platforms will need to work smarter, leveraging machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to compensate for that shortage and making it possible to apply cybersecurity policies at scale. In fact, Mirchandani noted, the rise of microservices will increase exponentially the number of virtual endpoints that will need to be secured. Once the intent behind a policy is determined, applying those polices at scale is feasible to the point where most cybersecurity professionals should be able to focus most of their efforts on managing any exceptions to those policies. A critical element of being able to manage those exceptions is the ability to visualize how and where existing policies are being applied, he said.

Lumeta software won’t make it possible to visualize all those endpoints at once because there simply isn’t a screen large enough. But Lumeta will make it easier for cybersecurity professionals to visually inspect subsets of the network to better understand how and where policies should be applied—or, just as significantly, ignored for all the right reasons, Mirchandani said.

Cybersecurity and network management continue to converge, though it’s unlikely the two disciplines will be completely unified any time soon. But, increasingly, cybersecurity policies are being informed by what’s occurring on the network in real time. Naturally, that means cybersecurity and networking professionals need to work more collaboratively with one another, a process that likely will require everyone to be able to see the same thing at the same the same time.

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Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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