Powerful Security and Performance: Network Sensor Appliances Prove Their Mettle

June 21, 2021 — Director of Sales Engineering

Wireless Sensor Networks have the power to boost an organization’s ability to tackle today’s complex cybersecurity challenges. 

The cybersecurity landscape continues to become more sophisticated and full of risks. For example:

  • 88% of organizations worldwide reported spearphishing attempts in 2019
  • 36 billion records were exposed from data breaches in the first half of 2020

Adding to the problem: Organizations are increasingly expanding their IT infrastructure to include multiple cloud services, Internet of Things devices, and edge computing appliances. At the same time, they’re managing a vast remote workforce with numerous devices and endpoints that must be secured.

Amid this landscape, organizations are demanding greater protection and more sophisticated solutions from security software vendors to help them mitigate risks and address today’s ever-evolving threats. That’s why forward-thinking corporations are adding sensor network appliances to their hardware stack.

Built-in sensor functionality paves the way for security

Network sensors are content-processing appliances that sit within the hardware stack to improve risk management. They provide real-time network monitoring to detect potential threats, intrusions, and attacks.

These sensors collect log data that can be filtered into security information and event management (SIEM) systems for improved vulnerability and threat detection, so administrators and security teams can quickly respond to malicious activity. Network sensors also capture data traffic information for analysis and assessment, which helps IT teams make better decisions about network requirements and usage.

Sensor Networks engineered to meet your requirements

A network sensor appliance can be custom designed to be compliant with different security levels of the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for government sales. For example FIPS 140-2 Level 2 requires tamper-evidence, and level 3 requires the hardware to be  physically tamper-proof. Additionally, FIPS requires eliminating line-of-site access to components and a bezel locking mechanism to prohibit access to the hard drives. An experienced hardware partner can further customize a FIPS appliance with tamper-evident stickers on the bezel, lid, and power supply, as well as blocking ports on the back of the system.

Internally, a hardware partner can customize network sensors by adding SmartNICS to help offload the network traffic processing normally performed by the CPU, to the NIC itself.  SmartNIC’s are based on different architectures, ASIC based, FPGA based, or SOC based.  There are tradeoffs between the different implementations with regards to cost, flexibility, and ease of programming.

It’s critical to seek a hardware integrator/manufacturer that “gets” your goals and today’s cybersecurity trends. At MBX, we have deep expertise designing hardware solutions like network sensors that address the ever-evolving security landscape. We can customize solutions to meet any standard, requirement, and use case — even for the most sensitive, mission-critical data, such as meeting FIPS levels of security to work with U.S. federal government agencies.

And of course, our hardware platforms deliver robust, reliable performance to ensure you can focus on your business, and not worry about the latest cybersecurity threat making headlines.

Contact us to discover how MBX can make a big impact on your cybersecurity platform design.


Director of Sales Engineering

Bill leads the technical sales engineering team bringing more than 20 years of technical engineering experience to customers. He has been published in multiple technical publications, talking about tech topics such as bleeding-edge components, industry trends and the future of technology.

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