Tableau Software reports that in 2020 the world will generate 50 times the amount of data as in 2011 and 75 times the number of information sources (IDC, 2011). Couched within these data are huge opportunities for human advancement. But to turn these opportunities into reality, people need the power of data at their fingertips. Tableau software is transforming the way people use data to solve problems and make analyzing data fast and easy, beautiful and useful.
Indeed, big data and analytics are impacting every industry in many new and interesting ways—including the way we think about enterprise security. Analytics have tremendous promise in aiding ongoing enterprise efforts to identify anomalies and mitigate security breaches and cyberattacks before too much damage is done. Ideally, access to the right data can help organizations prevent hackers accessing systems and carrying out malicious activities.
Within modern security ecosystems, Global 5000 organizations are orchestrating hundreds of thousands of machine identities every second—from TLS/SSL certificates to code signing and SSH keys. Lack of visibility into where these machine identities are installed and who’s using them presents great risk to businesses everywhere. The inability to analyze and report on machine identities restricts an organization’s ability to build and maintain a secure machine identity practice.
I had the opportunity to meet with The Information Lab and learn about their plans for connecting the Venafi Platform with the Tableau ecosystem. Here I am speaking with Martijn Verstrepen, Managing Director of The Information Lab Netherlands, about their involvement in the Development Fund.
Please start by telling us about The Information Lab.
Martijn: The Information Lab has been a Tableau and Alteryx partner and developer since 2010. The Information Lab focuses on only these platforms, which means that we have built up high levels of specialized expertise. Our teams assist customers with the implementation of Tableau and Alteryx within their organization by providing licenses, consultancy, training and support. That is why The Information Lab has been selected Tableau Partner of the Year 4 out of 6 times. We have more than 200 Tableau and Alteryx experts across our locations in Europe ready to help customers. The Information Lab has teams in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg. We have Zen Masters, Alteryx Aces, and Tableau certified trainers and consultants. As we say, we help make sense of data.
Does orchestrating thousands of machine identities make it difficult for security teams to analyze and report on data?
Martijn: Yes. Today security teams who are analyzing and reporting on machine identity management can use built-in reports to the Venafi Platform. However, these reports don’t provide the abstractions, visualizations, granular detail and dynamism that make them especially “executive ready”. The Global 5000 have standardized on services like Tableau for business intelligence, analysis and visualization. Tableau is used for both technical analyses, as well as reporting for C-level executives. While Tableau provides many out-of-the-box data connectors for technologies such as SQL servers, Sales Force, ServiceNow, Tableau does not currently provide a connector for Venafi. This means that the only way to ingest Venafi data into Tableau is via a CSV export which is time consuming and has inherent limitations due to the dynamic nature of the data. It also means that the reports cannot be easily published and refreshed to Tableau servers for easy consumption by other team members.
As Tableau experts, this challenge certainly seems in your power to resolve! What will be your approach?
Martijn: The outcome of the Development Fund sponsorship will provide deep, consistent integration with the Venafi Platform and Tableau ecosystem for analysis and reporting. By developing a Tableau Web Data Connector for the Venafi API in conjunction with plug-and-play interactive dashboards for the Venafi Platform, The Information Lab will enable Venafi customers to:
- Retrieve data from the Venafi REST API and perform ad hoc analysis using Tableau Desktop and/or the Tableau Server Web Editor
- Retrieve data from the Venafi REST API and perform pre-built analysis using Tableau Desktop and/or Tableau Server and the plug-and-play interactive dashboards
- Schedule data refresh from the Venafi REST API to Tableau Server to keep reports updated
What types of reports and dashboards will you build for the Venafi Platform?
Martijn: The Web Data Connector along with TLS reports/dashboards will be completed in a first development milestone. SSH reports/dashboards and Code Signing reports/dashboards are targeted to follow. Solving the reporting and analysis gap for Tableau will significantly increase the security team’s efficacy to communicate highly dynamic, complex and critical security related data to the business in ways that were not previously possible for an organization’s Machine Identity Management program.
Visit The Information Lab on the Venafi Marketplace <https://marketplace.venafi.com/apps/264275/tableau-web-data-connector#!overview> for more information. And stay tuned for future interviews with Machine Identity Management Development Fund recipients.