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Securing networks from internal threats is an important challenge for administrators and the current BYOD (bring your own device) trend adds to this. Network Access Control (NAC) can, amongst other things, be deployed to manage the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace, and Bradford Networks' experience in the enterprise, higher education, healthcare and public sectormarkets, allows it to deliver a unique solution.
Network Sentry provides role-based user access controls for all types of wired and wireless networks and endpoint devices. A key feature is its ability to integrate with all mobile devices regardless of their brand, meaning it can provide visibility across the entire network. The adaptive network security modular architecture from Bradford offers high levels of flexibility, allowing Network Sentry to be customised to specific environments. The main Foundation component provides key functions including network discovery, event based action automation and centralised network management. Feature sets can then be added using Bradford's Solution components. The Access Manager monitors and controls users and their devices and enforces role-based network access policies.
The Device Tracker blocks unauthorised devices, enforces device specific security policies, and reports on all activity. The Guest Manager provides registration and compliancy controls, options to delegate guest management tasks and self-service portals, whilst the Shared Access Tracker is ideal for managing work space sharing and hotdesking. Bradford's Extensions provide feature enhancements to the existing Solution modules and these include endpoint compliance, device profiling, and integration with third party security systems.
Network Sentry is available in three forms; as a hardware or VMware virtual appliance, and also as a cloud-based SaaS for off-premises security using Bradford.cloud. Whatever your choice it's easy to deploy, which you start by running a network discovery session from the intuitive central management console. It uses SNMP to discover network devices such as switches and routers which is then populated to the left pane of the console, allowing the grouping of devices to show departmental or geographical locations. Network Sentry then monitors these devices and builds up an endpoint inventory for a 100 per cent visibility of the network.
Baselining provides a clear view of normal daily network activity and Network Sentry processes this information to identify and associate authorised users and their mobile devices. Policies cover an extensive range of security issues and a collection of starter templates are provided.
A unique feature of Network Sentry is Bradford's pre-connect checks. When a device attempts to connect to the network it can run device profiling, validate MAC addresses and DHCP fingerprints, and check host registration. Ever popular iPads and iPhones are handled efficiently with Bradford's new Mobile Agent App. When users attempt to access the network they can be redirected to a portal and prompted to download the App from the Apple store. Network Sentry sees BYOD users accessing the network and will notify other security devices that may not be able to perform device and user associations. This allows third party products such as firewalls and bandwidth management systems to apply their own BYOD policies.
Compliancy checks ensure that end points have policy specified security components, such as anti-virus software, before permitting network access. Service Packs and security patches can also be identified, and Bradford's self-remediation framework reduces the burden on support departments.
The Integration Suite Extension module allows Network Sentry to work closely with third party devices such as IPS, firewalls and web content management products. Network Sentry can see security alerts from these and take action on the device such as switch port quarantining, end user notification, and running a predefined script.
Bradford's twelve year association with higher education gives it a unique perspective on controlling user access in challenging environments. Furthermore, Network Sentry is already conversant with controlling access for BYOD users, so extending this to the enterprise is no challenge. NC
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