Nevis adds application intelligence to NAC

Nevis Networks is upgrading software for its NAC appliances so it can do more application-specific monitoring and enforcement.

With Version 4.0 of its system software, the company is moving toward application intelligence in its devices. The first example of this is the ability to recognize and control peer-to-peer and instant messaging. This will be upgraded over time to recognize and control more applications, the company says.

The new software includes a messaging client that puts an icon in the system tray of users' machines that pops up messages. For example, it might tell the user that his antivirus is out of date and therefore his machine is being quarantined.

A new policy evaluation tool lets customers write changes to policies and see how they interact with existing policies before they go into effect. So if a user is granted membership in an additional user group in Active Directory, the tool can show how the aggregate rules of the user's previous groups and the proposed new group will interact and be enforced. This can be done without actually deploying the new rules and inadvertently creating security holes.

The software adds Active X and Java agents for performing health checks on devices that are logging in to networks; the agents can be distributed even if the user doesn't have administrative rights to the machine. The agents can be downloaded via Microsoft Windows Installer.

A new real-time health dashboard lets administrators see what users are on the network, what machines they are using, how many machines have violated policies and the like. Before this data was available, but only historically.

New reporting software enables custom reports that could be devised, for instance, to help show that a business is meeting a government or industry regulation. A related online community has been set up so customers can share these regulation-specific reports with others that need to comply with the same regulation.

The software also now supports endpoint scanning for Mac OSX. Before Macintoshes could be white listed but not scanned.

The Nevis LANenforcere 2124 appliance is shipping. It supports 3,000 users and costs $45.000.

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