McAfee Takes Another Crack at NAC

McAfee broadens its reach in regard to network access control, announcing a new NAC software module and plans for an NAC appliance. The NAC Module for Network Security Platform is integrated with the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator management platform. The announcement was made during McAfee's Focus security conference in Las Vegas.

McAfee is taking another shot at network access control with a new module for its Network Security Platform and plans for a new appliance.

The announcement, made at the company's Focus security conference in Las Vegas, held Oct. 20 to 23, significantly broadens McAfee's network security portfolio. The McAfee NAC Module for Network Security Platform is available now. When the McAfee NAC Appliance is released-it is slated to hit the streets in early 2009-the company will be able to offer an answer to access control that is both hardware- and software-based.

Though the company is heralding its technology as third-generation NAC, the main draw for customers may be its integration with the McAfee ePO (ePolicy Orchestrator) management platform, part of McAfee's Unified Secure Access approach.

Click here to read about Bit9 Parity's integration with McAfee ePO.

"I think what you're seeing with this Unified Secure Access is, frankly, what we said you'd see," said Paul Roberts, an analyst with The 451 Group. "Companies are interested in NAC to help them with regulatory compliance (HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act], PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley [Act]), among other things. However, rather than go best-of-breed and add yet more complexity to their network environments, they're looking to the vendors they already have a relationship with to provide NAC."

But the foundation here is McAfee's very popular ePO policy management platform, he continued, adding this will be very attractive to ePO's "true believers."

However, Roberts said, "Will it pull in customers who haven't already made that investment? We're not so sure."