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Garland Technology is committed to educating the benefits of having a strong foundation of network visibility and access. By providing this insight we protect the security of data across your network and beyond.

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"Not another installation setback"

Summary

Sleds and toboggans should go downhill, not IT or OT network out-of-band deployments. This blog discusses frequent setbacks the Garland engineering team hears from customers in the field when relying on SPAN mirroring for copies of packets sent to out-of-band tools.

Intro

As my son approaches his 3rd birthday, we've loosened up the rules on watching cartoons. Now, we all look forward to Saturday morning cartoons … and pancakes.

Personally, I haven’t watched cartoons in 30 years. Surprisingly, it seems animators are still reusing the same “character rolls down a snowy hill and becomes a giant snowball” bit.

As an adult, I empathize with the character inside the snowball.

I think about IT and OT network tool deployments gone wrong. With one setback after another, the project begins to literally snowball out of control.


Project going downhill?

Perhaps your installation of a brand new NDR, IDS, or OT security sensors feels like it’s going downhill right now!

People often call us for help when their projects hit setbacks. These are some of the common culprits we hear about:

  • One of the existing switches is unmanaged and can’t be used reliably to connect the new tool to the network.  Roll  
  • Another switch is already configured and reconfiguring it is not an option.  Roll  
  • The switch is bi-directional and now a known risk to the network’s security.  Roll
  • You’re trying to leave on a well-deserved vacation and you receive a call that another setback is delaying the installation.  Roll (your eyes)


In response, we generally ask these 6 questions:

  1. How are you holding up?
  2. What tool is being installed?
  3. What is the network speed?
  4. What is the media type and/or connector type?
  5. Are there other out-of-band monitoring tools that require copies of the network traffic?
  6. Do you have a network diagram you can share to help us visualize the environment or project? 


A Garland technical engineer will then recommend some options for consideration. 
Often, a Network TAP or Hardware Data Diode is part of our suggested solution.

TAPs and Hardware Data Diodes come in a wide variety of types and specs, making them a versatile, go-to solution for resolving these situations. They can help you quickly overcome installation delays and avoid disappointing stakeholders.

Free Whitepaper A Guide to Avoiding Network Downtime Download Now

What’s a TAP?

A TAP is a physical device that sits between two other network appliances (like a switch and router). Traffic flows full speed through the TAP while the device simultaneously copies the packets and sends the duplicates off to monitoring and security tools for further inspection.


What’s a Hardware Data Diode?

Hardware Data Diodes are purpose-built network devices that enforce one-way data flow for Switch Mirror ports with physical hardware separation. They guarantee protection of critical systems, such as industrial control systems (ICS), from inbound cyber threats. Garland Technology’s Hardware Data Diodes ensure any ethernet packet flows in one direction out the monitoring ports.


Fly for fun, not for work.

New cybersecurity tool deployments too often hit setbacks and end up with people on planes. When this happens, you (or your engineer) become the center of the snowball, as the project quickly careens downhill.

There’s a better way! Network TAPs and Hardware Data Diodes can help you gain control over installation delays and also help you avoid last-minute flights (aka the middle seat special) to deal with unexpected setbacks.

Here’s to a setback free 2024. Happy New Year!

3-keys-to-network-resiliency

Written by Jason Drewniak

Jason Drewniak is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Garland Technology in the Buffalo, New York office. His experience building brands and delighting customers covers a variety of tech-forward products like computers, toys, and beer. At Garland he is responsible for educating network stakeholders about the "Garland Difference!"

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