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NAC Success Depends On A Solid Foundation
What's that? Your CEO played golf with a sales rep and is ready to cut a check for a pile of new network access control gear?
Don't clear space on the loading dock just yet--the most difficult part of NAC is developing the policies that will determine when and how computers may access network resources. Policy development must be completed before you even consider product features.
NAC policies require that computers have the latest patches and are in an acceptably secure configuration for the tasks they're trying to perform and the data they're attempting to access. Based on how a computer lives up to these preset requirements, access controls determine the servers and services it can access. An enforcement component can ensure that an out-of-spec system is directed to an update site or given access to the Internet only.
NAC policies contain two distinct parts: conditions, such as computer configuration, user name, or patch status, and actions that define how a system is controlled, such as forcing the computer to change its configuration or making a user log in or apply missing patches. Any of those actions may require a computer to access a server connected to a quarantine network. But what if a user is unable or unwilling to update? Say your high-priced business consultant refuses to perform remediation to conform with your policies. What then?
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