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Lumeta mines routers for network discovery

You can't secure what you don't know about

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High-end network discovery developer Lumeta has opened up in Europe, citing security needs as the biggest driver today for finding out what's really on your network. The company said its UK office will support existing multinational users, as well as pushing its IPsonar software through European resellers and partners.

"Our focus is discovering and understanding the flows on the network - how devices connect to each other," said Luke Brown, Lumeta's Euroveep. "We'll produce network maps with an ongoing risk scorecard, and check for leaks and unauthorised connections."

Of course, there's a stack of network scanners on the market - programs that will go out and scan the IP range you give them and see what shouts back. Some will use SNMP and other protocols too, or watch for traffic crossing the LAN from cloaked IP addresses.

Brown claimed that IPsonar can discover more than all of these, because as well as scanning the blocks you tell it to, it also mines the information in your routers.

"Security managers have tools to close leaks, but first they need to know where those leaks are," he said. "IPsonar differs because it will give you the targets, the entry and exit points to the network. For example, organisations may have ex-partners from years ago that still have connectivity.

"Our code came from a Bell Labs/Lucent project to discover how big the Internet was by detecting every known type of end-point. The big thing is mining the router information and using that, and doing it fast, efficiently and graphically."

He added that this sort of information can also be vital when it comes to mergers, divestments and outsourcing projects - for example, to show what's there that will need managing, or what's still connected that shouldn't be.

"We discover the entire address space - you input the known network, but also as many hops as you want beyond that," he said. "Typically we find 20 percent more of the client's network than they knew existed. The information can then be fed back into your network management framework."

Brown said that IPsonar "becomes relevant at 25,000 IP addresses, say." He added that IPsonar projects start at around $20,000 (£10,000), though the actual figure will depend on how long you want to run it for, whether you want it as software or a hosted service and - interestingly - on how many IP addresses it discovers. ®

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