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Cisco broadens support for NAC

Cisco announces greater availability of network admission control (NAC) solutions offering support on midrange Cisco IOS routers.

Cisco has broadened the solutions delivered through its network admission control (NAC) programme, which helps customers extend their existing network systems to defend against viruses and worms.

The NAC program, which was first announced in November 2003, now supports the Cisco 830 series to Cisco 7200 series access and midrange Cisco IOS software-based routing platforms as well as Cisco network security management and access products.

A key component of the NAC program is the Cisco Trust Agent software, which resides on desktop and server endpoints and collects security state information from multiple third-party security software clients such as antivirus clients.

The Cisco Trust Agent software communicates this information to the Cisco network where network-access-control decisions are made and enforced. To facilitate deployment, Cisco Trust Agent software is available integrated with the Cisco Security Agent, an endpoint security solution to prevent day-zero and other attacks, to help ensure endpoint-operating-system patch compliance.

"Complex and ever-changing security threats require a systems-level approach and industry collaboration to dynamically protect networked business-critical resources," says Ken Kucera, senior vice president of First National Bank.

"The Cisco Network Admission Control program lets us use the network in our endpoint-validation efforts to audit and enforce our endpoint-security policies, and reduce our risk to potential damages caused by worms and viruses," he says.

Advanced Services NAC implementation consulting services have been deployed to help customers deploy a reliable, efficient and scalable NAC solution. These include NAC Readiness Assessment, NAC Limited Deployment, NAC Design Development and NAC Implementation Engineering.

Cisco plans to extend NAC support to additional Cisco platforms including its switching and remote access virtual private network (VPN) solutions, support for the 802.1x security protocol, and expanded Cisco Trust Agent operating system (OS) support including Windows 2003, Linux and Solaris.

NAC support in the switching infrastructure will help enable customers to ensure endpoint compliance with corporate security policies before obtaining local area network (LAN) access.

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