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May - 2014 - issue > siTech20 2014
NIKSUN Ensuring Cybersecurity and Optimizing Network Performance
Sagaya Christuraj
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Increasing network complexity, growing obfuscation techniques, and exploding multimedia traffic volumes are bringing a host of next-generation problems from zero-day exploits, targeted malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), to service level disruptions and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance issues. On a granular level, the nature and frequency of cyber attacks are fundamentally changing the cyber security landscape.

In today's evolving IT environment, the single biggest challenge in solving these problems is gaining actionable insight on the dizzying array of unknowns associated with each security attack or performance issue. Deeply committed to the passion of helping organizations and governments solve these problems, a company from Princeton, NJ named NIKSUN has developed a revolutionary approach of analyzing network traffic to essentially record everything and know anything traversing the network.

Founded in 1997 by Dr. Parag Pruthi, his visionary leadership and focus on innovation has guided NIKSUN from start-up to revolutionizing the network monitoring industry. Based on his doctoral research to model high variability phenomenon in networking, Dr. Pruthi along with notable colleagues developed the idea.

What They Do

The company develops a highly scalable array of real time and forensics-based cybersecurity and network performance management solutions for government & intelligence agencies, service providers, financial services companies, and large enterprises such as retailers and manufacturers. NIKSUN's award-winning appliances deliver unprecedented flexibility and packet capture power. The company's patented real-time analysis and recording technology is the industry's most comprehensive solution for secure and reliable network infrastructure and services, providing the power to instantly "Know the Unknown."

Today, NIKSUN is the only network monitoring solution that can simultaneously capture, inspect, mine, correlate, and store 'everything' traversing the network at multi-gigabit rates, gaining the deepest insight of security threats, performance issues, and compliance risks. Using a single console, NIKSUN also provides 93 percent analysis and visibility across networks, providing incredible power with a simple click and real-time contextual visibility.

Cyber Security Initiatives

NIKSUN's cybersecurity products provide in-depth and real time forensics that go beyond firewalls and IDS/IPS systems to identify, resolve, and help prevent cyber attacks. They efficiently create rich meta-data from full packet capture of all network traffic at line rates in real time. Integrated network behavior based alarms are provided in addition to signature based alarms for fast and accurate detection of intrusions and zero day attacks. Rules-based content alerts proactively monitor email traffic, file leakage (specific file names or types), and blacklisted URL activity. "We maintain a complete history of the occurrences, so a detailed retrospective and forensic analysis can be done at any time. Unknown security threats move out of the shadows and into the bright light of gotcha, making it a critical solution in use by over 1000 governments, intelligence agencies, financial institutions, service providers and other large enterprises," adds Dr. Pruthi.
The NIKSUN solution for ISPs provides comprehensive full-network visibility that enables service providers to improve network performance and dramatically decrease MTTR while simultaneously addressing cybersecurity concerns. The firm's solution provides comprehensive anomaly and intrusion detection, correlated forensics along with real time alarming for self defined performance incidents, security breaches, and policy violations. The solution is scalable, powerful, and in use by the largest Service Providers worldwide and includes 4G LTE support.

Solving the Data Reconstruction and Analytics Challenge

NIKSUN tries to solve the challenge of data reconstruction and analytics with two basic approaches, firstly by leveraging NIKSUN's Knowledge Warehouse (NKW), a patented technology used to generate multi-timescale linked and aggregated information from fine grained data to enable a single source of truth. Secondly, by decoupling the data from the analytics using service oriented architecture. This fundamental design allows the firm to not only pre process and organize data for fast retrieval, but also gives security and performance analysts the ability to visualize the information in their own unique way. In addition, the powerful query language integrated with the NKW allows users to easily mine data.

The Future for NIKSUN

Moving forward, NIKSUN is geared up to run the most compute intensive application in real time in the best way possible to suit the needs of enterprises. "The next step is about solving how to take this intelligence and do epic control. So in the next 4 or 5 years, my work is going to shift towards control systems," says Dr. Pruthi. In the realm of networking, NIKSUN hopes to re-configure services in the cloud which can be done easily with the availability of networking tools in real time, hence helping in higher efficiency. "By efficiency, I mean that we would be able to reduce one-tenth or one-hundredth of the cost that is currently being incurred and that is the Game Changer," adds Dr. Pruthi. The basic reason behind security issues in enterprises is the lack of computing capabilities to analyze each and every situation and make a decision; NIKSUN precisely works on this aspect, to place algorithms which can be put into play where work can be done on the production network rates. In addition to short term roadmaps such as analyzing data from hundreds of devices without degrading execution time and researches on a 400 GB machine, Dr. Pruthi looks forward to a better control mechanism in the long run. To finalize the roadmap, the data proliferation vigilante looks set to make giant strides with respect to speed, processing rate, helping enterprises to "know the unknown" and ultimately increase performance and security.
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