Napera adds support for wireless networks to Microsoft NAP

* Napera delivers Microsoft NAP to SMBs

Napera is introducing software that makes its Microsoft Network-Access Protection (NAP) gear compatible with wireless networks.

The company specializes in appliances that deliver Microsoft’s version of NAC to small businesses that may not have the infrastructure or expertise to deploy NAP using Microsoft gear.

The upgraded software for the company’s N24 appliance supports WPA authentication in which users are authenticated directly by the appliance without using a RADIUS server, something small businesses might not own, the company says. The wireless access point is configured so it points to the N24 for authentication.

The device authenticates users, checks the health of their devices and grants them appropriate network access based on authorization policies set on the appliance itself. For employees, authorization can come from Active Directory stores.

In addition to the wireless support, the new software version upgrades the NAP client for Apple Macs. (Microsoft NAP has no native Mac support.) Napera’s earlier software already supported Mac OS X machines to some degree, and the new version adds the ability for the client to turn on required software that might be turned off.

So if policies call for a personal firewall to be running and antivirus software to turned on, the client can now turn them on automatically if the user has turned them off.

The Mac client also displays alerts in the task bar if the device has flunked the NAC scan. Before, the browser in the machine had to be turned on to deliver the notification.

These features are not unique to Napera gear, but they do represent a maturing of the Napera product which targeted just at NAP users and just at small businesses, which is a unique niche.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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