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Microsoft Touts 100 NAP Partners

REDMOND, Wash. -- More than 100 networking and security partners have pledged support for and integration with Microsoft® Network Access Protection (NAP), a policy enforcement platform built into the Windows Vista™ operating system and the upcoming version of Windows Server®, code-named “Longhorn,” Microsoft Corp. announced today. With this milestone, NAP (http://www.microsoft.com/nap) becomes the largest partner ecosystem for network access control (NAC), providing customers with a broad choice of vendors and solutions. More than 40 of these working NAP solutions will be shown to the public at next week’s RSA Conference in San Francisco.

NAP is designed to allow IT administrators to better protect network assets by enforcing compliance with system health requirements. Users can create customized policies to validate computer health before allowing access or communication, automatically update compliant computers to help ensure that compliance is ongoing, and optionally confine noncompliant computers to a restricted network until they become compliant.

During last week’s NAC Forum 2007, several Microsoft partners and customers described existing solutions. Speaking at a panel titled “NAC in the Real World” was NAP early adopter Brian T. Nichols, chief IT security and policy officer for Louisiana State University. “As soon as we installed NAP, we found that 10 percent of the workstations had out-of-date security, and some were nine months out of compliance,” Nichols said.

Next week’s RSA Conference will feature solution demonstrations by more than 40 Microsoft NAP partners. A separate Partner Pavilion will feature NAP partners Altiris Inc., Apani Networks, Applied Identity Inc., ConSentry Networks, LG N-Sys, Lockdown Networks, Nevis Networks Inc., SignaCert, SkyRecon Systems and Vernier Networks.

Microsoft will offer several demonstrations of NAP at the RSA Conference, including an example of NAP interoperation with networking equipment from Alaxala Networks Corp., Aruba Networks Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Enterasys Networks Inc., Extreme Networks Inc., Foundry Networks Inc., Meru Networks, Nortel Networks and ProCurve Networking by HP.

“McAfee strongly supports the efforts from Microsoft to create a network access control standard that security vendors can easily adopt,” said Rees Johnson, vice president of product management at McAfee Inc. “McAfee VirusScan Enterprise works with Microsoft NAP today, providing our customers with an added layer of protection to help secure their networks and enforce security policies across their organizations.”

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)