Juniper Links NAC, Intrusion Prevention

The latest version of Juniper's NAC product line, Unified Access Control 2.1, adds integration with its Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) products to provide more protection for customers when problems erupt, said Karthik Krishnan, director of product management at Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Now the IDP can talk back to the controller and can correlate to a specific user, and see where that user is on the network," Krishnan said. "It can quarantine that user or take them off the network."

The updated software, which runs on Juniper's Infranet Controller 4000 and 6000 Series devices, also adds support for unmanaged endpoints such as printers and VoIP phones, integrates with patch management technology from Shavlik and adds support for endpoints running Micorosft Windows Vista.

Juniper is also introducing a light-weight software agent to bring Macintosh, Linux and Solaris devices into NAC solutions built on its technology. Rival Cisco Systems added similar functionality to its Network Admission Control offering last month.

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Bill Ketrenos, vice president of security infrastructure at Structured Technology, a Seattle-based solution provider, said the flexibility afforded by Juniper's UAC platform makes it an attractive choice for customers that don't want to rip and replace existing infrastructure.

Structured Technology recently won a deal with UAC 2.1 on a solution for a 20-location regional bank that didn't want to upgrade all of its network switches and firewalls, Ketrenos said.

Juniper's platform allows Structured Technology to overlay a NAC solution onto existing infrastructure, turning existing switches or firewalls into access enforcement points, he said.

"We don't need to re-architect the network or use VLANs to create enforcement points. And it doesn't hinder traffic flow," Ketrenos said.

The new integration with Juniper's IDP technology also helped seal the deal, he said.

"That was a big motivating factor because they could tie it into their existing Juniper IDP system," he said. "They're able to leverage an asset they already have in place and tie it together with their access control strategy."

The UAC 2.1 software release is scheduled for general availability this month. The upgrade is free for UAC customers with active maintenance contracts. Pricing for new customers starts at $5,000 for 100 concurrent users.