How Cribl Enables Secure Work From Anywhere with Tailscale
Cribl, the data engine for IT and Security, delivers choice to customers by helping them collect, process, route, and analyze their data. Cribl's product suite is purpose-built for IT and Security, and features the industry's leading observability pipeline, an intelligent vendor-neutral agent, and the first-ever search-in-place solution.
When Cribl launched in 2018, it set out to tackle a growing problem for companies of all sizes: data growth. The company estimates the amount of data generated at every company grows at a 28% compounded annual rate. Yet the budget for IT teams doesn’t mirror this new reality. Cribl helps IT and security teams efficiently process machine data in real-time and delivers them to their analysis platform of choice. Now organizations can surface actionable insights without incurring considerable increases in their spend.
Bringing it back to the days of LAN
When Steve Litras, Senior Director of IT and Security, joined Cribl, he set his sights on modernizing their approach to remote access. As a remote-first company, ensuring team members can access shared resources on AWS was vital. At first, the team was using OpenVPN, but they faced challenges as they expanded it to non-technical users. It was hard to manage users since Google, their identity provider, wasn’t supported natively. And they had to make adjustments often to their configurations, which created a lot of additional work for the team. The team decided to begin looking for a replacement. “Tailscale looked interesting because it basically transforms your network into a LAN, making everything accessible to users, and that was a huge selling point for us,” Litras shared. “With Tailscale and its user identity first model, I just have them login via Okta, and they can enable/disable as they desire, use exit nodes easily, etc.”
Managing access for 25x headcount growth
Since adopting Tailscale in 2020, Cribl has grown considerably. “When we started using Tailscale, there were about 18 people throughout the company. Since then, we’ve grown a significant amount. We’re now at about 550 employees,” said Litras. “As the company grew, the user experience and intuitive design made it easy to scale usage. Throughout this period, I’ve never needed to hire a dedicated networking team. Our small team of generalists can handle the periodic configuration updates and onboarding of new employees. It’s a breeze, especially when you consider how painful it used to be.” Additionally, Tailscale has enabled Cribl to enact numerous defense-in-depth measures across their private networks. Identity-based security controls granularly microsegment their network. Access control lists (ACLs) management can be seamlessly incorporated into existing IaC or GitOps workflows to enforce least-privilege access using one of Tailscale’s 100+ integrations. All of this remains abstracted away for most end-users. They simply log into Tailscale and get to work. “Employees can quickly toggle on an exit node to secure communications, similar to a privacy VPN, when working from their favorite coffee shop or when needing to approve last-minute GitHub requests at the airport,” said Litras.
“Every IT team wants to implement zero trust, but it’s always on the other side of the horizon. Tailscale’s overlay network for enterprises brings us one step closer to making it a reality. Now our teams can work on mission-critical projects without worrying about security gaps and tedious configurations.”
The future continues to shine bright for Cribl. They recently announced a major milestone: surpassing $100M in ARR, in four years. It’s a testament to the value they deliver to customers every day to take back control of their observability data. When asked how he would describe Tailscale using just one sentence, Litras said, “It makes complex networks easy to manage.” It’s safe to say Cribl’s network will have to grow to meet demand. Tailscale will be ready to provide secure connectivity across any infrastructure. “Tailscale has allowed us to have an effective corporate network without lots of complexity. Its simplicity is a major reason it has scaled so well for us over the years,” shared Litras.