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Gigabit Full Packet Capture Software for Any Managed Switch

On networks the speed of managed switches is a must, but it creates a curious dilemma: the bandwidth processed by the managed switch translates to a very large number of packets. Network admins have billions of packets to move across their networks every day and they have the switches to do it, but those switches do not show what is happening on their networks. Yet, flying blind is no longer an option: at current Internet speeds, switches can speedily abet the transfer of valuable data out of the network, with no one the wiser.

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Enter LateralAccessDevice (LAD for short), a downloadable, self-contained bootable software image that runs on a separate chassis – any compatible chassis (including old decommissioned Windows desktops and even fanless, budget-friendly J-1900 chassis) becomes a commercial-grade full packet capture appliance. Attach LAD to the managed switch, mirror the desired traffic from the switch to LAD’s port and full packet capture automatically commences with GPS-derived timestamps accurate to 1/1,000,000 of a second.

From the get-go LAD is compatible with every managed switch on the market (and unmanaged ones, too), regardless of their size or extraneous features and functions, making it possible to approach every network problem with the confidence and surety provided by real data backed by analysis. It is all there in the packets, making it possible to diagnosed misconfigured DHCP, misfiring applications and miscreant malware. Place LAD on all switches in an enterprise environment and track problems from switch to switch as they happen, or later, at your leisure. Even better, deploy LAD instead of a few switches and enjoy its full range of network management features.

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Automatic activity reports provide a comprehensive view over network activity, including aggregate reports on activity by MAC address with associated IP addresses, overall traffic volume, and individual bandwidth use, while three layers of stored data – reports, headers and payloads – make it possible to drill down through it all and see what is really happening. LAD further compiles dossiers on every device that has a unique MAC address, making it possible to instantaneously see what each device has been up to, what resources it has accessed internally and externally, and the volume of packets it has uploaded to and downloaded from those locations. Plus the user gets the relevant full packet capture data, ready and waiting for whenever it is needed.

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LAD’s capture size is only limited by the chassis’s hard drive, with capture speeds up to 1 Gbps per port. When the hard drive reaches capacity, LAD automatically begins overwriting the oldest data with the newest, with no need for any user intervention to continue quietly capturing and recording every packet.

LAD, however, is no one-trick pony. As powerful as its full packet capture and reporting capabilities are in and of themselves, it can also operate on its own as a switch, firewall or combination. LAD’s unique architecture allows for many applied uses, with built-in LateralFirewall, LateralDNS and LateralTime technologies, all to provide aid to the user, whatever the circumstances. LAD may also be configured for pass-through full packet capture.

Not to forget are LAD’s other native capabilities. Lateral access segregation, a technique recommended by CISA in February 2021 (“A securely segregated network can contain malicious occurrences, reducing the impact from intruders….”), is one of the most economical and effective ways to prevent a myriad of activities from taking place on a network, including unauthorized access, malware propagation, misbehaving applications corrupting data flow, routing problems and more. Owing to LAD’s unique design, admins need no longer practice acrobatics with VLANs, firewalls and other equipment to achieve what LAD accomplishes in one integrated package for managing devices by MAC address, preventing unnecessary communications, tracking and reporting. And all of this may be done on a schedule, with domain name firewalling, too.

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