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Visibility Solutions

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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The TAP into Technology blog provides the latest news and insights on network access and visibility, including: network security, network monitoring and appliance connectivity and guest blogs from Industry experts and technology partners

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Our extensive technology partnership ecosystem solves critical problems when it comes to network security, monitoring, application analysis, forensics and packet inspection.

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Garland Technology is dedicated to high standards in quality and reliability, while delivering the greatest economical solutions for enterprise, service providers, and government agencies worldwide.

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Whether you are ready to make a network TAP your foundation of visibility or just have questions, please contact us. Ask us about the Garland Difference!

SPAN Ports Have Always Been A Disaster To Your Network Security

Remember that time when SPAN ports ensured your network visibility and, thus, its security and the security of your data?

Oh wait, that time was never.

The SPAN port has never been a viable means to capture your data. But, in 2015, the stakes are greater than they’ve ever been, and SPAN ports remain a hindrance to fighting network security issues.

The High Stakes Of Network Security Issues

As Thor Olavsrud of CIO.com put it, “In information security circles, 2014 [was] a year of what [seemed] like a never-ending stream of cyber threats and data breaches, affecting retailers, banks, gaming networks, governments and more.

Was 2014 an aberration? Heck no! More like a continuation of an increasing upward trend of network security issues.

Olavsrud cites Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum, who, like most, believes that “the size, severity and complexity of cyber threats [will] continue increasing.”

Even beyond the growing prevalence and devastation of such problems, U.S. legislation is adding to the heightening cost of network security issues. If you’re unable to show exactly what data you’ve lost in a security breach, you will be hit with a costly fine.

And that’s where SPAN ports kill you.

>> Download Now: TAP vs SPAN [Free whitepaper]

Why SPAN Ports Are Terrible For Capturing Data

To mitigate the risk of the aforementioned fines, you must be able to prove what was stolen by providing complete evidence. But, SPAN ports rarely give you such data.

Why not? Because the SPAN port: 

  1. Is easily oversubscribed. Because it must replicate and resend your network data, it is often forced to handle more traffic than it’s capable of managing and drops packets of information.
  1. Alters packets. SPAN ports don’t simply provide complete copies to your security and monitoring tools; they often skew your data.
  1. Duplicates packets. SPAN ports also duplicate packets, distorting the reality of what’s happening on your network.
  1. Is an open, hackable device. Attackers can hack your switch and SPAN port to hide data and effectively keep you from detecting that a breach has even taken place.
  1. Is susceptible to human error. SPAN must be programmed, and if not done so correctly, you won’t have the visibility you so desperately need.

 

Where Do You Turn? The Network TAP

Network TAPs have always been superior to SPAN ports. Yet, shockingly, too few network engineers understand the risks of SPAN and the overwhelming need to leverage TAPs.

A network TAP is an unhackable device. It has no IP address. It provides complete network visibility and will stop capturing data only if its cables are physically disconnected from your network. It also preserves your full duplex links.  

You could continue to risk your network and job security by sticking with the SPAN port and all of its issues. Or, you could bolster your security with network TAPs and ensure a plane of visibility.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. 

Looking to add a visibility solution to your next deployment, but not sure where to start? Join us for a brief network Design-IT consultation or demo. No obligation - it’s what we love to do!

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Written by Tim O'Neill

As the Senior Technology Consultant & Chief Editor at LoveMyTool, Tim O’Neill has over 45 years of technology experience at data/voice and video networking analysis companies, including successful senior roles in Sales, Product Design, Marketing Management, Business Development and Security.

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