The RSA Conference 2006 show kicked off yesterday in San Jose, California, with a great big pile of announcements from vendors hoping to cash in on the publicity the show brings to the security industry.
Most of the major security vendors had something to say. McAfee Inc came out with its answer to the network access control space, one of the last vendors to do so, while Symantec Corp put its NAC offerings into an appliance.
NAC technologies, which promise to keep clients compliant with security policies, are something of a hot topic, while still in the early adopter phase. Cisco coined the term with its Network Admission Control technologies, announced in late 2003.
Microsoft followed suit with its Network Access Protection notion, with will be interoperable with Cisco NAC but is still very much in the prerelease stage, and will likely not fully come to fruition until Windows Vista is released.
McAfee yesterday unwrapped its take on the space, Policy Enforcer (not ePolicy Enforcer, as we reported in October), a module for ePolicy Orchestrator that, as the name suggests, deals with enforcing policies rather than merely managing them.
The company said McAfee NAC will support agent-based, agent-less and on-demand agent methods of scanning endpoints for policy compliance. It can block access to quarantine subnets using 802.1x, VPN APIs, DHCP, Cisco NAC, Microsoft NAC and the Trusted Network Computing (TNC) standards.
The TNC effort, part of the Trusted Computing Group, also said yesterday that it has released a specification for using TNC specs alongside the Trusted Platform Module hardware vault technology that it developed a few years back.
Symantec, meanwhile, built on its 2005 acquisition of NAC player Sygate Inc with the launch of Network Access Control Enforcer Appliance Series, a rackable box for compelling policy compliance on the network.
The company said the devices, scheduled to ship in April, will be able to integrate with the client-side Sygate software. The appliances will be able to send kill signals to the clients, forcing them to remove malware like keystroke loggers.
Cisco was quiet on the NAC front, instead choosing to promote current and forthcoming upgrades to its unified threat management and SSL VPN software and appliances.
The new Content Security and Control security services module for the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance 5500 Series was developed with Trend Micro Inc. It offers antivirus, anti-spyware, file blocking, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and URL and content filtering.
The company also said it had souped up the SSL VPN module for the ASA 5500 Series enabling up to 5,000 concurrent sessions per device. Prices start at $1,250, and are based on number of users.
Elsewhere in this market, Aventail Corp, the largest remaining independent SSL VPN pure-play, announced a tie-up with 3Com Corp’s TippingPoint intrusion prevention systems division to target the endpoint security space.
3Com announced its Quarantine Protection system yesterday. Its TippingPoint devices will now be able to detect malicious traffic and quarantine infected computers by either communication with the switch or a network management system.
Radware Ltd, another IPS play, announced version 3.0 of its DefensePro flagship, incorporating technology it acquired when it bought V-Secure last year. It now does content-based, behavioral-based and rate-based intrusion prevention in one box, the firm said.