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Security Expert Derek Dean

 

“Every single environment that I’ve ever seen has always been compromised, and that’s what’s most scary about what we do.”

Derek Dean doesn’t just have a flair for the dramatic; the reality of today’s cyber environment is as volatile and vulnerable as he says. Fortunately, he works for a team of people who make it their mission to improve that sometimes-bleak outlook.

“A lot of what I deal with are the really bad situations,” Derek says. “You could call it disaster recovery.” That often means pulling Stealthwatch Enterprise customers back to good standing when something goes wrong.

Two customer reactions

“It’s frightening sometimes,” he says, because it’s down to how the customers react. When he sees something suspicious happening and points it out, he says, the customer’s response can be either “We need to investigate” or “I don’t have time to deal with this.”

Of course, Derek appreciates when the customer is invested in finding a solution. In some cases they have no choice. After a massive news-making hack, he says, he heard from that customer the next day: “We have to export everything that’s on their NetFlow collector and get it off to the FBI as soon as possible.”

NetFlow overflowing

However, customers also seek Derek’s help for less dire reasons. One common issue occurs when a company grows exponentially and its NetFlow overpowers the system. Derek recently worked to troubleshoot this problem with a customer using a legacy computer technology. “The initial deployment had a limit, and as the network grew and what they wanted to see on the network grew, the system became overloaded,” he explains.

With new deployments, he says, “our mantra now is, You’re going to need more than you think.”

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