In fact, the purchase fits nicely into Microsoft???s Network Access Protection (NAP) strategy. Many SSL VPNs already offer the same functions that NAP and Cisco NAC aim to do: frisk client machines to make sure they meet corporate security and software policies and provide an additional layer of control over the device???s access rights. With an SSL VPN offering, Microsoft can offer NAP-like protection whether users are connecting on the LAN or from the Internet.
It???s also a purchase that puts Microsoft into a market with strong growth. According to research firm Infonetics, the SSL VPN market racked up $205 million in sales in 2005, and is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent in the next four years. How long has it been since Microsoft grew 33 percent in anything (except vulnerabilities, of course)?