Traditional security gateways, network firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems are increasingly blinded by the rising tide of encrypted traffic, and some enterprise chief information security officers (CISOs) are alarmed by this lack of visibility. The growing volume of bandwidth associated with cloud-based services and the rising amount of encrypted traffic are a double blow to these traditional security solutions. Encrypted traffic blinds prevention systems from hacker communications to command and control infrastructure and attacker movement within an organization to critical resources. This traffic also prevents many of these network security appliances from identifying signs of targeted attacks, malicious scripts, and other criminal tools and tactics used to infiltrate corporate networks.
Recent IDC research involving IT executives and professionals demonstrates the rising concern associated with the influx of Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encrypted traffic. Nearly 90% of respondents cited a seriously diminishing field of vision, according to IDC's State of SSL/TLS and Threat Visibility Survey of 300 IT security executives and network and security architects as well as their line-of-business (LOB) colleagues. The survey, commissioned by F5 Networks, found that data loss prevention systems are sending fewer alerts and network firewalls, IPS appliances, and other security gateways designed to protect end users and critical resources are failing to handle the rising volume of traffic that requires SSL decryption for inspection.
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