Mirage Offers NAC Solution For SMBs, Remote Users

NAC technology aims to ensure that devices connecting to the network don&'t compromise security by bringing in infections, running out-of-date patches or being non-compliant with security policies.

NAC can be likened to a security guard frisking someone at the front door before they come in, said Tom Duffy, president and CEO of IGXglobal, a solution provider based in Rocky Hill, Conn.

“It&'s just common sense. Security has always been about having a flexible and dynamic policy in place, and NAC speaks to that,” Duffy said.

Mirage is specifically addressing the SMB market and remote-office users with its new C-125 appliance, which boasts ease of use and can handle up to 50 users.

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“The problem with small- to medium-size businesses is bigger because they don&'t have the time to deal with it. And typically at remote offices, you have a limited amount of IT resources,” said Scott Olson, vice president of marketing at Mirage, Austin, Texas.

Controlling and managing the security of a network can be particularly troubling for SMBs that have multiple remote offices because it is difficult to manage security patches without a solid endpoint security solution in place, such as the one Mirage offers, according to Peter Bybee, CEO of Network Vigilance, a security solution provider based in San Diego.

“A lot of small companies really don&'t have a NAC strategy,” Bybee said.

Mirage&'s NAC technology uses a set of rules to detect behavior that is indicative of threat propagation. Because a threat often will download a mailer to distribute itself via e-mail, the rules determine that the infected machine is behaving uncharacteristically. The appliance then sends the infected device to a quarantine server to enable remediation.

Analysts agree. Research from Gartner estimates that by the end of 2007, 80 percent of enterprises will have implemented NAC policies and procedures.

Solution providers are anticipating opportunities in the emerging NAC market as security threats continue to grow. The latest example came last month when a flaw was discovered in WMF image files within Microsoft&'s Windows operating system. The flaw allows a hacker to compromise a desktop by sending malicious code within a graphic image file or through a Web site that a victim visits which contains the specially crafted image.

“NAC is much needed technology and good news for integrators, offering opportunities to generate more business,” Duffy said.