Bradford Networks Targets Enterprise Access Control

The company's NAC Director, launched Wednesday, uses a blend of identity management, end-point compliance and policy enforcement for securing wired, wireless and VPN connections, said Jerry Skurla, vice president of marketing at Bradford, Concord, N.H. NAC Director builds on Bradford's flagship Campus Manager NAC product to address the needs of companies ranging from 100 users up to large enterprises, according to Skurla.

When establishing an identity profile for users, NAC Director checks several factors, including user name, the user's role within the organization, the machine's MAC address, the IP address used to connect, the network access point and the time of access, Skurla said. When a device is found to be dangerous, NAC Director immediately isolates it from the network.

"We shut down the port, log the MAC address and disable that device from connecting again, even through wireless," Skurla said.

Andy Segal, president of Vandis, an Albertson, N.Y.-based solution provider that sells Campus Manager, said NAC Director is likely to succeed in the broader NAC space because it's easily scalable.

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"There's a lot of customer interest around NAC but much less actual implementation because of the large price tag," Segal said. "Something that can scale with a reasonable investment has a good chance of succeeding in this market."

Bradford offers persistent and dissolvable agents to allow for companies' particular network policies, and these can be set up to recheck the status of the machine to detect any changes that occur after the initial connection, Skurla said. Companies can choose to apply different policies depending on how users access the network. For example, companies can limit access to the corporate network if a user is connected to the Internet through a WLAN access point, he said.

NAC Director, which supports Windows and Macintosh environments, also integrates with deep packet inspection technologies, which analyze network traffic to detect malicious network activity. "This allows us to automatically react to the alerts that come in," Skurla said.

Bradford has been working on a channel expansion strategy that includes recruiting "about 10 more" VARs and integrators to complement its current base of 20 partners, according to Skurla.

NAC Director's pricing starts at $6,495, and the product will be available in March.