Network Access Protection (NAP) is an exciting new solution that will be included in Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn Server.  You can find out some basic information about NAP here: http://www.microsoft.com/nap.

 

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected.  This is great because it enables us to access our information on more devices, in more locations and at all times.  However, these benefits require new approaches to access control.  They require us to go beyond securing the network perimeter to securing the internal network and the hosts themselves.  That’s what NAP is all about – providing integrated access controls across multiple layers in the network and on the hosts.

 

One thing that really sets NAP apart as a solution is the platform approach it takes.  With NAP, customers can provide access controls across virtually any product from any vendor.  Any product that can isolate a non-compliant endpoint can participate in a NAP deployment: VPN gateways, perimeter firewalls, internal firewalls, host firewalls, 802.1x switches, routers, DHCP servers, bump-in-the-wire network security appliances and more.

 

We are starting to showcase NAP integration with the ecosystem.  Bill Gates demonstrated NAP in his RSA keynote in February.  On the floor at RSA, NAP was demonstrated in 14 partner booths in addition to the Microsoft booth.  We also recently participated in iLabs where we got NAP working with 802.1x switches from several vendors. 

 

Mudit Goel, the NAP Development Manager, is busy preparing his presentation for WinHEC.  He’ll provide a deep technical review of Network Access Protection.  Then, he’ll discuss ways that NAP can be extended by network and security ISVs and IHVs.  He’ll focus on 802.1x integration but will cover other kinds of integration as well.  This will be a great session.  We hope to see you there.

 

 

-Paul Mayfield

Group Program Manager

Network Access Protection