Continuous network protection has become a critical security prerequisite in the event of downtime, whether it is as a result of power loss, appliance failure, maintenance or other external elements.

In this light, Concilium Technologies has introduced Net Optics' iBypass Switch with Heartbeat-a passive, in-line bypass switch that maintains seamless network flow, particularly when deploying an intrusion prevention system (IPS).
The iBypass Switch provides both a fail-open network path in the event of power loss, and the ability to quickly initiate and enable bypass mode should the appliance fail, or require maintenance, repair, or removal.
Says Steve Alves, MD of Concilium Technologies: "The iBypass Switch provides secure network access points for installing intrusion prevention systems and other in-line monitoring devices.
"It is the first remotely managed, intelligent solution that will meet the needs of mission critical deployments, and allow in line security appliances to be removed with no network downtime."
The switch counts bytes, individual packets, under- and over-sized packets, and packet collisions. Packet loss, transmission latency, and errors identified by cyclic redundancy checks (CRC) are recorded as well and are visible on a front panel display or from remote locations.
As a result, network engineers can then verify that links and connections are intact, ensuring security and reliability, by watching the continuous statistics shown on the front panel or by using the software management tools.
The "Heartbeat" feature in the iBypass Switch sends packets continually to the IPS appliance verifying the state of the link between the IPS and the switch. If the Bypass Switch does not receive a response packet, it goes into enabled mode and reroutes traffic away from the IPS directly through the Bypass Switch.
As with other Net Optics iTap products, the iBypass Switch enables security managers to view network utilisation, physical layer statistics, link activity, and power status by way of intuitive software tools.
The software management tools, Web Manager (browser based) and System Manager (platform based), are both included in the purchase of iTap enabled products and can be used to either view a single device or logical groups of devices for greater visibility and information.
Lastly, a Command Line Interface (CLI) is also included for initial installation and setup. Optional Management Information Base (MIB) is available for organisations that wish to manage Net Optics products from Enterprise software platforms, like IBM Tivoli or HP OpenView.