Web filtering outfit iboss Network Security has added an innovative geo-mapping capability to its gateway platform to visually alert admins to unusual movements of data in and out of a network more rapidly than trawling through conventional logs.

Released as a feature for the firm’s all-purpose Secure Web Gateway (SWG) platform, it compliments established features include the ability to secure all aspects of web traffic such as web filtering, mobile traffic, SSL connections, application traffic, rounded out with bandwidth and BYOD management.

These sort of features are becoming standard on many gateways in the market but the firm has added data flow analysis to the mix as a way of detecting the sort of anomalies that might indicate more complex traffic issues such as data loss - ‘exfiltration’ in network speak.

A geo-mapping module takes information from network sensors, turning this into a real-time geographical map showing which locations traffic is moving from and to. If traffic of a given volume appears to be flowing to a location – a country say - that doesn’t match any known flow, this can quickly be spotted as an anomaly.

This traffic can then be traced back within the network to a specific IP address or user using a more standard log view; the advantage of the visualisation is that it allows admins to drill down to the right place in the logs, avoiding the need to comb through them looking for oddities.

“Cybersecurity threats are constantly getting more sophisticated. We recognised an industry need for a better way to pinpoint and address potential threats,” said iboss Network Security’s CEO and co-founder, Paul Martini.

“By tracking data movement, our customers can address critical security concerns without the limitations that legacy solutions possess,” he said.

The heatmap approach helped security monitoring in real-time and not only retrospectively once the damage had been done.  

Although the geo-mapping feature is just one of a number of layers on its gateway, using visualisation to understand where data is moving to and from is an interesting approach to network security that has tended to be fixated on protocols, ports and devices.  But increasingly, security is becoming about knowing that data is where it’s supposed to be and in a secured state.

Last week, San Diego-based iboss announced record sales growth which explains its expansion to countries such as the UK, where it remains a relative unknown.