Shimel’s interesting-as-usual reply to one of Stiennon’s “I-hate-NAC” articles is certainly nothing new, but this most recent exchange piqued my interest enough to get me clicking and reading around a bit.

Stiennon talks about Rohati and their ‘new’ approach to NAC in the form of their NBEC, Network-based Entitlement Control. I, unlike some bloggers in our network, decided to check it out before formulating an opinion.

So, I checked it out and I’m a little disappointed… on several fronts. First, all the information I have with which to draw a conclusion is limited to the online ‘product demo’ available on their website. It’s not really a product demo, hence disappointment number 1.

image_rose_nac_nbec.jpgLet down number 2 comes in the realization that the features they’re touting in the ‘product demo’ are actually things we can do today, with traditional hardware-based NAC solutions from those daily house-hold names… Symantec, StillSecure, Juniper, ProCurve, Enterasys and even Cisco. Rohati does (potentially) have a unique statement of being able to enforce policies without touching the client. But, again, we ‘can’ do that with several of the products I just mentioned. And I’m wondering how we could create the tunnel-like enforcement and security Rohati claims to offer without some type of agent on the client… after all, any encryption tunnel has to have endpoints, right?

I attempted what I usually do when I’m checking out security solutions, I went to the support section of the website to download product manuals or configuration and implementation guides. Even some white papers. I wanted to see how they’re really going about it all. But, disappointment number 3 jumped up and got me when I saw that the only resource on their support page was an email address. Hmm….

The company seems to be comprised mostly of long-term ex-Cisco employees. Out of the 8 members of the management team, there’s 1 President, 6 VPs and a director- 5 of which are co-founders. With just 2 years under their belt, I’m wondering what all they can have up their sleeve past a slight variation of current NAC solutions.

I may be completely wrong about the company and product(s). If I am, I’m sure someone will offer to send over some product manuals for me to read through…

The bottom line is… a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… or stink as bad.

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Author, speaker, and recognized authority on network and wireless security architectures, Jennifer (JJ) Minella helps organizations solve technical problems and align teams.

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