Nyansa’s Voyance expands to the IoT

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Nyansa announced today that their flagship Voyance product can now apply its AI-based secret sauce to IoT devices, over and above the networking equipment and IT endpoints it could already manage.

Voyance – a network management product that leverages AI to automate the discovery of devices on the network and identify unusual behavior – has been around for two years now, and Nyansa says that it’s being used to observe a total of 25 million client devices operating across roughly 200 customer networks.

It’s a software-only product (available either via public SaaS or private cloud) that works by scanning a customer’s network and identifying every device attached to it, then establishing a behavioral baseline that will let it flag suspicious actions (e.g., sending a lot more data than other devices of its kind, connecting to unusual servers) and even perform automated root-cause analysis of network issues.

The process doesn’t happen instantaneously, particularly the creation of the baseline, but it’s designed to be minimally invasive to existing network management frameworks and easy to implement.

Nyansa said that the medical field has been one of the key targets for the newly IoT-enabled iteration of Voyance, and one early customer – Baptist Health, a Florida-based healthcare company that runs four hospitals and several other clinics and practices – said that Voyance IoT has offered a new level of visibility into the business’ complex array of connected diagnostic and treatment machines.

“In the past we didn’t have the ability to identify security concerns in this way, related to rogue devices on the enterprise network, and now we’re able to do that,” said CISO Thad Phillips.

While spiraling network complexity isn’t an issue confined to the IoT, there’s a strong argument that the number and variety of devices connected to an IoT-enabled network represent a new challenge to network management, particularly in light of the fact that many such devices aren’t particularly secure.

“They’re not manufactured by networking vendors or security vendors, so for a performance standpoint, they have a lot of quirks … and on the security side, that’s sort of a big problem there as well,” said Anand Srinivas, Nyansa’s co-founder and CTO.

Enabling the Voyance platform to identify and manage IoT devices along with traditional endpoints seems to be mostly a matter of adding new device signatures to the system, but Enterprise Management Associates research director Shamus McGillicuddy said that, while the system’s designed for automation and ease of use, AIOps products like Voyance do need to be managed to make sure that they’re functioning correctly.

“Anything based on machine learning is going to take a while to make sure it understands your environment and you might have to retrain it,” he said. “There’s always going to be more and more things connecting to IP networks, and it’s just going to be a question of building up a database.”

Voyance IoT is available now. Pricing starts at $16,000 per year, and goes up with the number of total devices managed. (Current Voyance users can manage up to 100 IoT devices at no additional cost.)

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