Cisco Systems recently changed gears on its Network Admission Control platform and began focusing its efforts on the NAC Appliance, formerly known as Cisco Clean Access. The company had been touting a more complex NAC system, which required expensive upgrades to routers and switches, but the cost and complexity of the system was an obstacle for many enterprises. The shift to the NAC Appliance has paid off, as Cisco pulled down the silver medal in the endpoint security category.
The appliance uses the network infrastructure to enforce security policy, authenticate and authorize users and evaluate and remediate wired and wireless devices before they are allowed full access to the network. The NAC Appliance not only has the ability to recognize devices, but also can identify individual users and their respective roles in the company, allowing it to make informed decisions on resource access.