Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

NAC-in-the-Box, Jump Up

Vernier, ConSentry launch improvements to their Network Access Control appliances

Two of the leading makers of in-line network access control (NAC) appliances introduced new products today, improving enterprises' prospects for implementing the security technology without degrading network performance.

NAC -- a means of improving end point security by testing and remediating client devices before allowing them to join the network -- is a hot button in enterprises of all sizes these days. But many companies are deploying NAC as an out-of-band function because of concerns that in-line NAC devices might inhibit network performance or increase latency. Some users also have expressed concerns that NAC appliances do not offer sufficient remediation capabilities, such as intrusion prevention.

Today's announcements address those concerns. In one rollout, Vernier Networks launched its EdgeWall 8800, a NAC appliance that offers wire-speed authentication and validated access to all users on the network. The 8800 uses Cavium Networks' Octeon chip technology, giving the appliance faster performance than earlier models. The new device also offers an integrated intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) engine.

In the other launch, ConSentry Networks unveiled Release 3.0 of its LANShield OS and Insight Command Center, which combine LAN switching and NAC appliance capabilities. The new offerings deliver more information about end user activity on the network, as well as automatic authentication and simplified incident response, the company says.

Although their products are very different, both Vernier and ConSentry have a common goal: to convince enterprises that NAC can be done in-line, securing end user access without hindering network performance, notes Andrew Braunberg, an analyst at Current Analysis.

"The main reason for choosing out-of-band solutions is the performance issue," Braunberg says. "If you choose to do NAC in-line, then the whole issue of speeds and feeds becomes paramount."

Vernier is addressing the performance issue with the Cavium chip, an open microprocessor technology that accelerates the automated process of checking a user's security credentials before allowing him or her to log on. ConSentry uses a proprietary chip that it claims is optimized for NAC processing. Each vendor claims to be faster than the other, though no independent performance comparisons were available.

Most organizations have not deployed NAC at an enterprise level, so the question of who's faster may not be at the top of network and security managers' minds yet, Branberg observes.

"For most companies, the impetus behind NAC is guest access and how to ensure the security of outside devices that use the network, such as the ones used by partners or contractors," he says. "They're deploying NAC on a small scale, with maybe just one appliance attached to a conference room. It's a big jump from that sort of environment to an enterprise-wide NAC implementation."

That's not to say that the NAC market isn't ramping up quickly, Braunberg says. Medium-sized companies already are adopting the technology, particularly in the health care and higher education markets, he states. Research firm IDC predicts that the market for identity and access management systems, including NAC, will grow at a rate of nearly 25 percent per year to reach $2 billion in 2010.

Vernier's EdgeWall 8800 is available now with a starting price of $29,900. The total cost of the package can be as low as $25 per seat, officials say. ConSentry's LANShield Controller lists for $17,995, and the LANShield Switch costs $13,995.

Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

  • ConSentry Networks Inc.
  • Vernier Networks Inc.

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Zero-Factor Authentication: Owning Our Data
    Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
    44% of Security Threats Start in the Cloud
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
    Ransomware Damage Hit $11.5B in 2019
    Dark Reading Staff 2/20/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
    This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
    Flash Poll
    How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
    How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
    The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2012-0063
    PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
    Insecure plugin update mechanism in tucan through 0.3.10 could allow remote attackers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks and execute arbitrary code ith the permissions of the user running tucan.
    CVE-2013-3551
    PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
    Kernel/Modules/AgentTicketPhone.pm in Open Ticket Request System (OTRS) 3.0.x before 3.0.20, 3.1.x before 3.1.16, and 3.2.x before 3.2.7, and OTRS ITSM 3.0.x before 3.0.8, 3.1.x before 3.1.9, and 3.2.x before 3.2.5 does not properly restrict tickets, which allows remote attackers with a valid agent ...
    CVE-2013-4088
    PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
    Kernel/Modules/AgentTicketWatcher.pm in Open Ticket Request System (OTRS) 3.0.x before 3.0.21, 3.1.x before 3.1.17, and 3.2.x before 3.2.8 does not properly restrict tickets, which allows remote attackers with a valid agent login to read restricted tickets via a crafted URL involving the ticket spli...
    CVE-2019-19865
    PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
    Atos Unify OpenScape UC Web Client 1.0 allows XSS. An attacker could exploit this by convincing an authenticated user to inject arbitrary JavaScript code in the Profile Name field. A browser would execute this stored XSS payload.
    CVE-2019-19866
    PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
    Atos Unify OpenScape UC Web Client 1.0 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information. By iterating the value of conferenceId to getMailFunction in the JSON API, one can enumerate all conferences scheduled on the platform, with their numbers and access PINs.