Empowering Cybersecurity with Observability

November 19, 2023

Empowering cybersecurity with observability. Enhance threat detection and response with a proactive and data-driven security approach. Observability provides the data needed to understand how a system works, which is vital for improving it. It also allows engineers to rapidly navigate from a performance problem to its root cause, without the need for additional testing or coding.

Interestingly, while respondents use multiple tools for their observability needs, they strongly prefer a unified platform. This is perhaps due to the pain caused by juggling disparate monitoring tools and siloed data.

Real-time Monitoring

As IT infrastructure is increasingly distributed, IT professionals need a comprehensive view into IT infrastructure performance. That’s why smart investment in infrastructure monitoring is more important than ever.

Modern infrastructure monitoring solutions can provide complete end-to-end observability with contextual insights and precise root-cause analysis. In turn, that can help DevOps teams collaborate more effectively and deliver on business goals faster. It can also help SREs evolve ITOps into AIOps and transform IT organizations to meet future demands.

To get the most out of your infrastructure monitoring solution, consider focusing on key metrics that measure performance and state. These metrics can be captured directly by your infrastructure or fed into your monitoring system via integrations, agents, and other means. Metrics can include baseline information such as CPU, memory, and disk usage or more complex data points that track trends over time. Event logs—which record what happens in a system or service—are another critical source of observability.

You should also consider monitoring third-party services. Problems with a third-party solution could have just as big of an impact on your overall user experience (and potentially your infrastructure) as issues in your own environment. In fact, a third-party issue may trigger an alert in your own environment or even result in a false positive in your monitoring tool.

Whether your infrastructure is physical or virtual, it can be challenging to collect all of the data you need for your infrastructure monitoring strategy. To streamline the process, use a unified infrastructure monitoring solution that supports all types of architectures. This type of solution can automate the discovery of workloads, containers, pods, and nodes and provides a single interface to access observability.


Using observability as a tool for real-time threat monitoring and alerting helps DOE identify anomalies and respond rapidly to protect DOE networks, sensitive government and citizen data, and physical infrastructure from cyber attacks. The resulting security posture is robust and resilient to minimize the impact of attacks on critical systems, energy production, and operational continuity.

The underlying cybersecurity capabilities implement measurable management of DOE asset security and support the Department’s mission to ensure that only authorized users access DOE systems, information, and assets. This is aligned with the President’s 2017 National Security Strategy and Congressional direction contained in the FY 2018 Enacted Budget.

Achieving these cybersecurity capabilities requires a strong partnership between DOE’s CESER and OCIO offices, as well as with the Department’s Energy sector owners and operators. This includes fostering an environment that respects operational boundaries, promotes innovation and agility, fosters collaboration, balances equities, and recognizes national values and interests.

Achieving effective cybersecurity also requires a highly skilled workforce and the requisite tools to assess, detect, and mitigate cyber threats. This is a complex and resource-intensive effort that requires a broad range of disciplines. A major challenge is the sensitivity of the information gathered; a wide range of processes and systems are needed to share vital intelligence with private industry partners that have a need-to-know. Information-sharing platforms also require broad adoption to achieve their full value.


Reporting is the next step in using observability to power a smarter cybersecurity strategy. It allows you to view and analyze performance data for your software architecture and infrastructure. It can help you understand how well your system performs at a high level, identify patterns in application performance, and pinpoint issues that can cause outages. Using this information, you can take steps to address any issues that arise, and prevent future problems from occurring.

It’s not surprising that nearly half of respondents surveyed reported that they would like to have all their monitoring tools unified on one platform. Having a single tool that can capture and visualize all the telemetry from your infrastructure, databases, servers, applications, and other tools would make it much easier for you to troubleshoot and resolve problems.

However, it’s important to note that while unified monitoring is ideal, this may not be a feasible solution for most organizations. This is because observability tools come in many different flavors, and most respondents use at least two monitoring tools.

Additionally, some companies also have their own specialized tools. For example, many companies have custom logging or analytics platforms that they use for their specific environment. These tools can be difficult to integrate with other observability platforms, and may require the expertise of an expert to set up correctly.

Achieving full-stack observability is no small feat for most teams. It requires instrumentation at all layers of the tech stack and ensuring that these tools can communicate with each other. This can be challenging when multiple teams are responsible for a service, especially when those services have polyglot code bases, multiple auxiliary tools and storage systems.

In this study, we surveyed over 1,000 respondents to understand their observability strategies and team organization, trends driving the need for observability, advocacy for observability by role, and which stages of the SDL they use observability in. We also looked at industry insight, such as which industries allocate the highest percentage of their budgets to observability tools and which roles are most responsible for observability within their organizations.


In addition to real-time monitoring, observability tools often provide data analytics. This helps engineering teams understand what is happening inside of their system and identify patterns that could indicate a problem. These trends can include a sudden spike in error counts, a rapid decrease in performance metrics, or a significant increase in the number of unprocessed requests. Using observability to detect these trends can help organizations avoid lengthy periods of data downtime.

Another trend to watch is the growing adoption of microservices, which are designed to liberate development teams by reducing dependencies across application components. However, these architectures can make it more difficult to track incoming request flow because the services may run on different programming languages and utilize a variety of auxiliary tools. As these technologies become more prevalent, it will be essential for observability tools to be able to monitor and analyze them in a single platform.

Finally, the ability to track changes to data schema is an important part of observability, particularly as many data downtime incidents are caused by field removals, new columns, or other schema-related issues. In our survey, respondents noted that unified data pipelines and strong schema auditing are key to ensuring high-performing systems.

While the benefits of observability are clear, achieving it can be challenging. Our survey found that just 27% of respondents’ organizations have prioritized full-stack observability, with a further 3% reporting that they already have it in place. This lack of adoption is likely due to a combination of challenges, including a misunderstanding of its benefits (29% of executives and non-executive managers), an underperforming IT infrastructure (31%), and a disparate technology stack (32% of practitioners). Download the full report to learn more about how to overcome these barriers.

Ammar Fakhruddin


Ammar brings in 18 years of experience in strategic solutions and product development in Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Healthcare organizations. He loves solving complex real world business and data problems by bringing in leading-edge solutions that are cost effective, improve customer and employee experience. At Propelex he focuses on helping businesses achieve digital excellence using Smart Data & Cybersecurity solutions.

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