When it comes to data monitoring, ensuring proper access to network data is one of the most critical things you can do. Missing and incorrect data will slow down the analysis of problems by your security monitoring and tools. It may also lead to false conclusions by those tools. In turn, this can lead to missed security threats, false positives for security threats and network impairments, and higher costs. This white paper is designed to be a generic guide to help assist in the optimiztion process of your visibility architecture so that you can collect better data at the start of your monitoring architecture. An overview of the differences between taps and SPANs, virtual taps, and different types of tap solutions including bypass switches is provided along with three examples and recommendations for best practices.