Garland Technology ensures complete packet visibility by delivering a full platform of network TAP (test access point), inline bypass and packet broker products.
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Complete network visibility is no longer a "nice to have" technology feature for security appliances such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems or forensic analyzers – it’s a “must have” requirement. Any security engineer that doesn’t guarantee adequate access to every bit, byte and packet that is flowing in and out of the network from the start is apt to experience problems down the road.
A network TAP is a dedicated hardware device that seamlessly provides different security applications with access to 100% of the network’s traffic details. It can be inserted at any point in the network and basically copies the traffic that flows across it and sends it to designated appliance – all without altering it at all. Their performance is not affected by traffic load or resource competition. Their only job is to ensure that both in-line and out-of-band security appliances have complete and total visibility into network activity.
Today’s firewalls are more sophisticated than ever, combining advanced filtering and pattern analysis with traditional capabilities in order to better protect against malicious activity. When next-generation firewalls are connected directly to the network, they often alter the traffic patterns and change frame timings in a way that can impact the performance of the other business critical applications and communications solutions running on the network. By connecting them to a network bypass TAP instead, firewalls can see 100% of traffic – and immediately act on suspicious behaviors – without effecting normal traffic flows.
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) continuously monitor inbound and outbound network activity looking for out of policy and anomalous behaviors. Whether they are in-line or out-of-band, IDS and IPS solutions can’t function properly if they can’t see all the traffic. Network TAPs can send data from multiple points in the network, allowing to compare and analyze activity from different angles (in front of and behind the firewall; before and after it goes through webservers; etc.). And, it ensures that no packet will go unanalyzed when traffic spikes occur. By combining a hybrid packet broker with your bypass TAP, you can enable load balancing and filtering capabilities along with the connectivity benefits provided by a traditional network TAP.
Data Leakage Prevention (DLP) applications monitor, protect and store network data to better determine how it is being used both on and off of a corporate network. Here again, the network TAPs providing connectivity for firewalls and intrusion detection systems can send a copy of the network traffic to your DLP solution as well to ensure that it also has 100% visibility into everything that is happening on the network without fail.
Computer forensics, data capture and lawful intercept solutions were all designed to intercept, archive and audit network traffic for future use. Clearly, their ability to do their job is dependent on having complete visibility into what has occurred in the network. When connected directly to the network, they are often overwhelmed by traffic spikes and can’t capture all of the data that goes by. Without a network TAP outfitted with load balancing capabilities, these solutions may lose critical information, especially when DoS and DDoS attacks occur and bombard corporate security solutions with a concentrated burst of network activity.
In the end, if you don’t have 100% visibility into your network traffic, you can’t consider your enterprise secured. Only by supporting each and every appliance with a solid network design and connectivity plan can you ensure that they are working as designed. Unfortunately today, network conditions vary widely and can easily overwhelm the security applications trying to monitor them – it happens all the time. Only by connecting your security appliances via a network TAP can you hope to eliminate the risks that traffic fluctuations have on the performance of the individual elements in your solution stack.
To give your security strategy a fighting chance – anchor it with a network TAP. Contact us today and we’ll help you draw up plans for 100% visibility across the board.
Chris Bihary, CEO and Co-founder of Garland Technology, has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance and security through the integration of network TAP visibility.