Athena Releases PathFinder With Predictive Network Path Analysis

Athena Security, makers of the advanced network security analytics solution, Athena FirePAC, recently announced a new product that extends the core analysis from a device-centric view to a network-based view. The Athena PathFinder product is a comprehensive and powerful tool that maps the relationships between firewall configurations, critical assets and the network infrastructure. It shows what services are available across the network and what paths they will traverse across multiple devices. Using the PathFinder, network security engineers can perform predictive topology path analysis to conduct more effective firewall troubleshooting and to find the optimal places to make rule changes.

The PathFinder imports configurations from network security devices such as firewalls, routers and switches to create an offline model of access policy across the network. PathFinder automatically determines the connections between devices, and the resulting topology diagram allows users to initiate queries from any source to any destination. The model constructed by PathFinder predicts what is reachable and how configuration settings will control traffic.

"Firewall configurations cause extremely complex rule and device interactions that are not easy to troubleshoot by simply injecting data packets in the network,” said David Hurst, CTO of Athena Security. “The beauty of an offline model is that a single query can determine all possible paths and devices where data can travel. It will also identify precisely which firewalls and which rules should be changed to impact traffic behavior."

PathFinder is based on patented technology developed by Athena Security and was evolved to offer security operations groups a focused, clean and highly interactive user experience. It is a handy tool that can be downloaded and installed in minutes.

Additional new features include:

  • Quick creation of topology diagram by one-step connections to adjacent nodes in the diagram. This includes an ability to find adjacent nodes in the inventory that are not in the diagram and place and connect them in the diagram.
  • Ability to specify the source, destination and service parameters for a node to node query.
  • Ability to save topology diagram in different image formats like GIF, BMP, JPEG, JPG and SVG etc. This allows users to repurpose, print and share the diagrams with team members.
  • A new Packet Tracer option provides the ability to inject a virtual packet, specified as source, destination, and service, into a selected subnet in the topology. PathFinder analyzes the routes from the selected subnet to determine where the packet should end up and then identifies how ACLs and NATs along the path would affect the packet. The specific devices allowing or denying the packet along the path are identified and highlighted on the diagram. You can drill down into the device configurations to see precisely the effect of each rule acting on the packet.

Athena’s PathFinder is available immediately. Licensing is based on the number of devices selected for topology modeling. The product currently supports the following:

  • Cisco Security Appliances: PIX, ASA(up to version 8.3), FWSM.
  • Cisco IOS routers: Version 12.0 to 12.14, excluding X* Series.
  • Juniper firewalls: Netscreen, SSG, ISG.
  • Check Point products: SmartCenter NG/NGX, Security Management R70
  • Check Point platforms: SecurePlatform, Check Point IPSO (formerly Nokia), Crossbeam, Linux, Solaris.

Support for additional device types and vendor platforms are released on a frequently updated basis.

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