Network access control -- More than endpoint security

Network access control (NAC) holds a great deal of promise for network security, but sorting out the market and product options is a challenge. In this special report, you'll learn how to gauge if your enterprise is ready for NAC, what the difference is between the major systems, and whether an appliance approach may be the best option. Then peek under the covers at the actual endpoint functionality and how you can further leverage this technology in the future.

Network access control (NAC) holds a great deal of promise for network security, but sorting out the market and

product options is a challenge. In this special report, you'll learn how to gauge if your enterprise is ready for NAC, what the difference is between the major systems, and whether an appliance approach may be the best option. Then peek under the covers at the actual endpoint functionality and how you can further leverage this technology in the future.

  SPECIAL REPORT

Network access control: Should you implement now?
Implementing NAC is a big step, and deciding whether and when to start is daunting. Networking experts say the sooner the better, but before going into NAC full throttle, enterprises must first determine their motivation.

NAC and endpoint security frameworks: Which way to go?
We've all heard about the Cisco and Microsoft initiatives for NAC, plus the standards-based Trusted Network Connect. What's the difference between these approaches and which, if any, should you choose to secure your endpoints and keep your local networks from being compromised?

NAC appliances: Shortcut to access control
Many network managers are interested in NAC, but a full-blown installation requires a large commitment and investment. To fill the gap between consumer interest and investment, several vendors offer "NAC-in-a-box" appliances that deliver many of NAC's promised benefits, with far less fuss. Learn the benefits and drawbacks.

NAC underneath the covers: Endpoint health assessments
The main focus of NAC these days is to assess an endpoint and determine that it's healthy before it's allowed network access. But vendors have different methods of doing so. Here you'll find the questions you need to ask your vendor in order to understand where these solutions fit into your overall networking and security infrastructure.

Defending an expansive definition of NAC
There is a good bit of controversy about what constitutes a complete NAC solution. Broadening our definition and expectations will enable networking pros to tightly integrate NAC into the IT infrastructure and leverage it as a true access control system.

This was first published in November 2006

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