Microsoft Adds NAP for Linux and Mac

Network Access Protection is now deployed in more than 150,000 desktops worldwide, including 70,000 at Microsoft.

BARCELONA—Microsofts Network Access Protection platform is being extended to Linux and the Mac in heterogeneous network environments through third-party products.

The Redmond, Wash. software maker announced at its TechEd IT Forum, here on Nov. 13, that UNETsystem will release Linux and Macintosh versions of its Anyclick for NAP (Network Access Protection) product next year.

Avenda Systems will release the Avenda Linux Network Access Protection Agent, which extends NAP technology to network endpoints running Linux, while Celestix Networks has developed an appliance for delivering the NAP policy-enforcement platform. These new appliances will hit the market shortly after Windows Server 2008 is released in February 2008.

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Read here about Microsofts unified security strategy.

Paul Mayfield, a product unit manager in Microsofts enterprise networking group, told eWeek that NAP was based on the concept that when a client attached to a network or server, their identity needed to be evaluated in addition to its compliance to a set of governance policies.

"We have worked with UNetsystem and Avenda Systems, and we are working with others, to provide the ability for third party operating systems to report their identities and current compliance state to the network," he said. "Our servers then have policies that evaluate what rights those identities have and whether what is being reported in terms of compliance is indeed in line with company policies."

But Mayfield declined to give any further specifics as to the exact audit functionality available in these products, except to say that they would be doing things like checking to make sure certain services were on or off, and making sure that certain ports were locked down.

"I expect we will see more and more integration happening with third party antivirus over time, but I dont know whether thats included in this release," he said.

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To read about Microsofts push into the enterprise security market, click here.

NAP is now deployed in more than 150,000 desktops worldwide, including 70,000 at Microsoft, which has also released a case study describing its NAP deployment.

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