Meet Mazu: Visualizing Your Network

February 16th, 2007 |
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At RSA 2007 in San Francisco, PodTech’s Michael Johnson spoke with Paul Brady, CEO, and Dimitri Vlachos, senior product manager at MAZU Networks, about Mazu’s visual network analysis and control applications.

Host: Michael Johnson – PodTech

Guest: Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Guest: Dimitri Vlachos – Mazu Networks

Michael Johnson – PodTech

This is Michael Johnson and we are here on the floor of RSA 2007 in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and we are here at one of the interesting booths. It is Mazu and we are here with the CEO of Mazu, Paul Brady and also the Senior Product Manager Dimitri Vlachos. Welcome both of you to the podcast.

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Thank you Michael, thanks for having us.

Dimitri Vlachos – Mazu Networks

Thanks Michael.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Okay. Well, Paul, let’s start, tell me a little bit about what Mazu is?

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Well, simply stated Mazu provides continuous global visibility into our users application hosting devices are behaving on your network. Simply stated, it gives you a window into what users and applications do. How they are behaving? And it helps both security and network professionals, secure and optimize their network.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Okay, now we’ve seen a lot of boxes here, a lot of things, lot of the interesting sort of the applications. They all pretend to have the answers. Tell me what Mazu’s approach is and why you selected visibility as a way of looking at the network and the problems with that?

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Sure, well, what we have seen is there is lots of devices like firewalls, IPS, parameter-based tools that if you can program signatures or rules into them, you can stop people from getting in. The reality is the network parameters become more porous. it’s open, it’d be partnerships and business relationships and things like Voice over IP, the network end-points are expanding and people just did not know what’s happening on the network and is usage of the network and the mission critical nature of the network becomes more important.

They really need to understand what’s happening on the network? Who is doing what, where and how? And we do that in a unique way. We are able to without agents or inline devices through the use of NetFlow which is pervasive on almost all networks and transparent meaning very little to know overhead. We can very quickly tell users, how people are behaving on the network? What threats exist? And help them optimize it for business purposes.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Okay. Now, as the value of this that maybe a lot of people are finally getting into the security, getting to realize that they really need to get up to speed on security and this is kind of an easy interface way for them.

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Well, I think the key drivers are — applications are more tightly bound than ever to the network and there is pressure on network and security operations teams to understand and resolve issues more quickly. Five years ago, if you had an outage, people were a little bit frustrated because email was not there and you couldn’t surf the Web. Now, the cost of having any sort of network downtime is huge for most companies and the exposure of any sort of breach of critical data is also very expensive in terms of brand and so having that visibility on your network, we think is more critical than ever and is evidence by the growth we have had as a business in 2006.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Dimitri, what are you hearing from folks out there about what they are expressing as far as a need for security? Because one of the things that I have gathered at the conference is that, lot of people are thinking that the thinking about security, the mindset about security has to change. What are you hearing about?

Dimitri Vlachos – Mazu Networks

Well, so, what I hear about security is, the policy based all these detecting of known problems or most associations today are based on the fact that you can figure logs to send data to a central entity and the problem with that is on most of those solutions you have to know what you are looking for and they fail to realize that they are host-centric a lot of times and they fail to realize that the network is what’s connecting everything. So, the network no longer is kind of network issues and security issues isolated. If a worm breaks out in your network it not only affects your host it can clog your network and affect other pieces of your infrastructure.

So, I think there’s this commonality that is missing from a lot of products and solutions is that the network how it interacts is key to security just as it is key to network professionals as well. So, that’s an area I think, we are starting to see a lot of demand for — I don’t understand my network before I can do anything. I need to really understand what’s going on.

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Yeah, and now I would simply add to that. I think what users are demanding is security tools help move them from reactive to proactive to predictive and we think technology like Mazu Networks that gives you a behavioral based view of what’s actually happening on your network, real time, historically and can alert you to problems both with out of the box heuristics and by point clip policy to tell you about things like suspicious connections or users are using Peer-to-Peer or Instant Messenger and the firm has made a policy against it. We can out of the box, swat things like that and just help people understand and secure and optimize your network.

One of the exciting things we did in our most recent release which was last September, was we all — prior to that release we had a very IP-centric view of the world. Now, we are able to integrate with things like Active Directory, so instead of IP addresses user and we also are able to finger print over 500 applications. So, instead of IP address, it’s SAP Server, Oracle Server.

So, when you get into the Mazu appliance you are looking with a very solid contact which user Paul is talking to that server SAP and he is doing something unusual that he has never done before. Let’s zoom into and see exactly what he is doing? How is that vary from what he has typically done historically, and is it a problem and if to an extent there is a problem we can look into any device from the network user or application and say, who else is he connecting to? Who else is connected right now?

Last week we had a call from one of our customers in the East Coast, a large financial services firm and they had, like many financial services firm, they have a policy against using IM. They want to control, they have gateway products, they want to control communication in and out. Well, any guy with a little bit of technical capability knows how to tunnel IM over port 80 pretty easily.

So, the policy was in, we helped them establish a policy, simple policy within Mazu and they called us up to tell us say, they had caught a user transferring 10 Gig over IM which obviously — they didn’t tell us what was contained and I do not know if it is anything bad but they were quite excited that they were able to identify it quickly and stop it and I think that will get out there and it will be a way for them to enforce the rational policies that they’re setting pretty easily.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Okay, so the folks who want to find out about Mazu, where can they go? Is there a Website?

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

www.mazunetworks.com

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Okay. I have been speaking today with the CEO of Mazu Networks and that is Paul Brady and also the Senior Product Manager Dimitri Vlachos. It’s been great talking with both of you. It sounds like a fascinating product and we’ll have a link up on PodTech and thanks for talking both of you.

Paul Brady – Mazu Networks

Thank you, Michael. Nice to meet you.

Dimitri Vlachos – Mazu Networks

Thank you, Michael. Very nice to meet you.

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