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Network Node Validators


Everyone Wants A Piece

A dizzying number of vendors claim to own some piece of the future network-access control puzzle: Desktop firewall, legacy routing and switching, antivirus and vulnerability-assessment companies have piled on, and a slew of start-ups have launched new appliances. Some people even toss Microsoft, with its NAP (network-access protection) plans, into the mix, and though we disagree with that, NAP will have its place.

To be fair, given the scope and nature of the problem, many vendors making claims have valid roles to play; the rogue- and noncompliant-device headache requires both host and network components. Host pieces provide visibility you can't get from the network without login credentials, and the network must have some "smarts" to react when a bad host won't play by the rules. There's no single solution to this problem, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Plenty of technology approaches will help. However, we focused on those that will be baked into existing infrastructure devices. This "embedded" approach represents the move away from standalone security products to existing IT products that use security features as differentiating factors--a trend we predicted: See "The Inevitable Commoditization of Security".