Symantec Extends NAC To Windows

Server Windows

Rich Langston, Symantec senior manager of product management, said that the goal of the Symantec NAC (SNAC) solution is to ensure the safety of networks by making sure all systems connect in order to meet a certain policy standard. By extending its NAC solution to include support for Microsoft, Symantec execs say that NAP will be able to provide a set of standard-based network access control solutions to a greater user base and a wider range of organizations.

"It represents another way to enforce these policies," said Langston. "For the channel, NAP really means that (companies) can take a more standard approach. It's more of a one size fits all technology."

Altogether, SNAC provides a single SHV (system health validator), a single policy console and single agent, along with more granular checking options, and the ability to create custom checks.

"Together, these allow Symantec Network Access Control to dramatically extend the deployability and manageability of Microsoft NAP in customer environments," said Patrick Wheeler, Symantec senior product manager for NAC in a statement.

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NAP provides a framework of protocols endorsed by Microsoft that live on endpoints to communicate through policy servers, which allow the transmission of information about the current state of the system, alerting users and administrators regarding application use.

These protocols are used in policy enforcement—ensuring that the right people have access to the appropriate information in compliance with the company's security policies and remediation of noncompliance clients prior to network admission. Companies can use these protocols to build NAC solutions, Langston said.

Execs say that interoperability with NAP will make Symantec NAC deployments easier, which will allow customers to leverage Symantec' NAC's capabilities in a multivendor environment.

"We're already there with simple license key upgrades," said Langston. "There're far fewer moving parts for your deployment."

From a channel perspective, Langston said that the buyer can feel comfortable that the technologies are more compliant with their standard. "It really makes it a mainstream technology," he said.

"The really interesting thing about NAP is that it provides a set of protocols that have been endorsed by Microsoft," said Langston. "Microsoft is working with Symantec to refine them and make them more powerful in the future."