Customers often try to strike the right balance between managing the “threat from within” while at the same time offering their user population access to network resources. The edge of the network represents a unique opportunity to enforce the company’s security posture and acceptable use policy. No longer is it sufficient to merely leverage 802.1x to authenticate and grant users access to the network.
NAC allows for workstations to be scanned in order to validate numerous items. Those include the existence of installed antivirus software and updated antivirus signature files while a combination of file-checks and registry key checks allow for further application/ file enforcement.
Intelligent NAC and authentication furthermore takes full advantage of the user authentication to not only authorize and assess but also identify users connected down to the switch port that gives them access. Users that do not have 802.1x configured on their workstation (i.e. students in a University environment) can still be discovered by means of a registration portal with backend authentication to a directory. Quarantined users can be allowed to self-remediate in addition to given a number to call your helpdesk and allow for IT staff involvement in resolving their issues.
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