While reading about CISCO NetFlow Analysis I came up with a term named NAT Stitching.

I understand Flow Stitching which join same type of inbound and outbound connection.

But can't find anything discrete about NAT Stitching except the following,

NAT stitching: Unify the NAT information from inside the firewall with information from outside the firewall to pinpoint which IPs and users inside the network are responsible for a particular action

So how it work in detail? Is it a process/protocol or a specific type of NAT?

1 Answer 1


You must remember that a flow using NAT will look like two different flows: a flow pre-NAT, and a flow post-NAT. This is because NAT is changing one or more of the addresses in the packets. This can present a distorted view of your flows.

As Cisco explains it, NAT stitching will stitch the (apparently) separate flows to give you the single flow view:

Exporting NetFlow from the NAT devices will stitch both pre & post NAT flows together.

The Cisco Press book NetFlow for Cybersecurity goes into more detail:

Lancope’s StealthWatch solution supports a feature called network address translation (NAT) stitching. NAT stitching uses data from network devices to combine NAT information from inside a firewall (or a NAT device) with information from outside the firewall (or a NAT device) to identify which IP addresses and users are part of a specific flow. A great feature of the StealthWatch solution is its ability to perform “NetFlow deduplication.” This feature allows you to deploy several NetFlow collectors within your organization without worrying about double or triple counting the traffic.

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