Interview with Doug Murray, CEO of Auvik

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives spoke with Doug Murray, CEO of Auvik, about how his company differs from its competition, the most pressing cybersecurity concerns in enterprise network management, the role of Shadow IT in today’s modern work environment, and more. 

Can you share a bit about your professional background and your goals for Auvik?

My career of nearly 30 years has been focused on networking, security and cloud infrastructure. Before joining Auvik, I served as CEO of Valtix, a leading platform for multi-cloud network security. At Valtix, I oversaw the acceleration of the company’s go-to-market strategy and developed some key strategic investment partnerships. Previously, I spent seven years as CEO of software defined networking (SND) pioneer Big Switch Networks, which Arista Networks acquired almost 4 years ago. Prior to that I was senior vice president and general manager at Juniper Networks, where I led the $1 billion business across the APJC region as well as the Security Business Unit.

My top priority at Auvik has been to capitalize on our success in network monitoring and management and expand to our next stage of innovation and growth. We just completed three key acquisitions – Saaslio, Boardgent, and MetaGeek – and have been focused on integrating those capabilities to deliver a robust IT Operations platform with exceptional end-user experience. We have been on-boarding new employees at an aggressive pace – including the addition of three new leaders on the executive team – to drive Auvik’s transformation. And we have been building a multi-tiered channel program that is suited to the growth we’re anticipating.

What challenges does Auvik help customers solve?

Auvik’s cloud-based network monitoring and management software allows for full visibility and control of enterprise networks. In today’s world of hybrid and remote work, the modern office network is now wherever the workers are. According to our research, 45% of IT professionals said they are measured on the satisfaction of their end user or customer, yet factors contributing to the end user’s experience are increasingly moving beyond the IT team’s control. Auvik helps IT teams ensure that despite these new challenges, they can do their jobs effectively and efficiently, keeping remote workers secure, connected, and productive.

How does Auvik differentiate its solutions and services from competitors?

Thanks to the heavy-lifting of our amazing development team, no competitor can quickly or easily recreate Auvik.

The legacy network management systems IT professionals have depended on haven’t evolved much. They aren’t intuitive or easy to use, they can be time consuming to deploy, and don’t give IT professionals all the resources necessary to quickly troubleshoot network issues. Many systems require an IT professional to purchase expensive on-premise hardware, set up complex collection and data forwarding schemes, and are often inaccessible from outside of the network, a critical point in today’s ‘work from anywhere’ reality.

Auvik Network Management (ANM) differs with our real-time network topology which provides network and system admins up-to-date information on where every device is connected to the network. We provide detailed device performance statistics, visibility into the applications in use on their network, and device logs from across their managed networks, all in a single dashboard.

Our cloud-based network management software can be deployed in minutes, and we have made it easy-to-understand, with an intuitive interface that can be used by even the most junior technician on an IT team.

Our real-time network mapping is a key feature—it allows users to automatically map and understand their network and security infrastructure and troubleshoot in minutes.

ANM works out of the box and supports over 15,000+ devices from over 700 vendors (Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet Aruba, etc.) —a major benefit to drive adoption as few IT environments are homogeneous. This device vendor diversity also eliminates the need for techs to know every different operating system and languages across devices.

We’re also preparing to launch Auvik SaaS Management (ASM), which follows the acquisition of Saaslio. ASM is all about conquering SaaS sprawl via centralizing SaaS visibility. This is a big deal because the proliferation of SaaS has made the discovery, management and security of SaaS applications a vital concern for hybrid work environments. ASM can help expose and eliminate security threats caused by high-risk Shadow IT.

What are the most pressing cybersecurity concerns when it comes to enterprise network management today?

I think it is vital for organizations to get a stronger handle on network oversight, which relates to cybersecurity across a broad range of IT concerns. Bottom line – you can’t secure what you can’t see. Relevant issues include expanding network visibility, detecting unusual behaviors, increasing device uptime, and ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery.

A healthy IT environment depends on monitoring and observability to generate the data and metrics needed for accurate security findings. In this respect I view Auvik’s mission as an essential enabler for a secure network.

What role does Shadow IT play in today’s modern work environment? How does this impact security?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is now table stakes in the modern workplace. Businesses are increasingly adopting SaaS apps primarily for their convenience and accessibility. SaaS solutions can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy for remote employees to collaborate and access the tools they need to do their jobs.

“Shadow IT” is the software and SaaS apps used by employees that the IT department has not approved and may not even be aware of. These blind spots can have significant consequences for a business including increased costs, operational issues and security risks. Employees often use free SaaS apps which are even harder for IT teams to track because the subscription costs don’t show up on the books. These apps include file transfer services, collaboration tools like Zoom or Slack, and they all store sensitive company data. It is critical for IT teams to have visibility into Shadow IT and be able to implement and enforce sensible policies when it comes to employees adopting new SaaS apps.

What tips or advice do you have for security and IT teams to improve network security and efficiency?

As noted before, you can’t secure what you can’t see. On the surface, this sounds obvious. But IT infrastructure can be very challenging to manage. The most simplistic aspect of this is the map, discovering all of your security devices in the network from firewalls to malware protection systems – all heterogeneously. By hovering over the map, you can see, in real time, the status of a given device with a color coded red, yellow or green. While we don’t secure, we make your security assets more resilient by assisting with troubleshooting as well as some basic automation. Security teams need to be ready to react quickly and efficiently, and we focus on making their stressful lives easier.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.

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