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Implementing NAP and NAC Security Technologies: The Complete Guide to Network Access Control by Daniel V. Hoffman

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2.6. The Reporting Mechanism

When it comes to technology, I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Yes, it's a great solution, but the reporting stinks...." Well, the same can apply to NAC/NAP solutions. So, why is reporting important to NAC solutions? It's important for the following reasons:

  • It is important to understand the current security state of devices, so that intelligent policy-related decisions can be made.

  • A NAC/NAP solution can help significantly with internal security audits.

  • High-quality reporting can assist in proving compliance with various regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and so on.

Reporting is as much about information gathering as it is about presentation. Having a ton of information in a hard-to-read format doesn't necessarily help out organizations. As with any reporting, it is important that the breadth of information being covered be vast and useful, while its presentation be easy to use and understand.

2.6.1. Knowing the Current State of Devices

One of the most important steps in devising a strategy is knowing what you're up against. This helps in the planning stage, and also helps enterprises make educated decisions on their actions and policies. For example, realizing that a number of computers currently have LimeWire installed would be a good reason to implement a policy that kills that application. The logical way you're going to know if systems have this installed ...

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