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15 November 2006, 09:58

Bouncer for networks

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Juniper has announced version 2.0 of its Unified Access Control (UAC) authentication system. It builds on the 802.1x IEEE standard, includes the Odyssey Access Client and the Steel-Belted Radius Server, and also supports "Trusted Network Connect" (TNC), developed by the Trusted Computing Group as an open specification for access control. According to the manufacturer, it links user identities, device and location information with access guidelines and privilege management.

UAC includes various elements such as the infranet controller, which administers and provides central privilege management. The UAC agent is an application which is loaded by the network endpoints. "Policy Enforcement Points" include the manufacturer's firewalls, network switches and WLAN APs, which are able to deal with the 802.1x specification.

According to the manufacturer, the UAC access controller starts up before end devices receive an IP address. Numerous tests check the identity of the user and that the end device is error free. As an example, the UAC agent checks what software is on the end systems and tests their configuration, security measures and operating system. It can also start "clean up measures" for devices which fail this test. The UAC system including infranet controller and UAC agent is, according to Juniper, available from December 2006 and should cost US $ 15,000 for 100 users. UAC 1.0 users with an active maintenance contract will receive the update gratis.


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