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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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9.3. The Technical Components of Microsoft NAP

As discussed in Chapter 2 and replicated in the format of Chapters 6, 7, and 8, all NAC/NAP solutions consist of the same basic elements. Not all NAC/NAP solutions will contain all of the elements, and some vendors will be better at some elements than others. This section analyzes the following NAC components as they relate directly to Microsoft NAP:

  • A technology to analyze the security posture of the device

  • A policy-related component to configure and set the policy on what specific security criteria will be analyzed on the device

  • A technology to communicate the security state of the device to other facets of the NAC/NAP solution

  • A mechanism that receives the security posture of the device and performs an action based upon those results

  • A policy-related component to configure and set the policy regarding what action will take place

  • A remediation technology whose purpose is to bring the device back into compliance

9.3.1. Analyzing the Security Posture of a Device

The analysis of a device with Microsoft NAP is dependent upon the NAP client components being installed on each client. Microsoft NAP does not have a clientless component. The NAP client is integrated as a component of the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Vista

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3

How Microsoft NAP device analysis occurs on the endpoint is not altogether different from the Cisco NAC Framework. Microsoft uses SHAs to analyze specific components of the device's security ...

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