LANDesk ships network access control software

LANDesk Software in South Jordan, Utah, will ship a network access control product Monday that scans computers attempting to connect to a corporate network, quarantining any system not meeting security policies.

The LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 sells for US$59 per node and includes client-based software.

Spencer Kartchner, network manager at Swire Coca-Cola USA in Fruitland, Utah, has beta-tested the product and plans to implement it in the next month, primarily to help protect a network of 29 sales and production centers connected via frame relay in nine western states. About 500 PCs and laptops use the network.

Kartchner called the current version of the software "pretty solid."

"It gives us the ability to quarantine a computer from the network after it has been away for a certain time," he said. Network managers can see whether a laptop or computer has autoprotection turned on and has certain patches installed.

"I want that quarantined computer scanned before it is let back on the network," Kartchner said. If the user's machine passes the scan, it is allowed onto the network; if not, it must be updated or will not be allowed to join the network.

Swire Coca-Cola needs the protection because a couple of users traveling to China have returned with an unidentified virus that spread to other machines on the network, Kartchner said. "This product will alleviate this problem for us in a fairly simple manner that is easy to manage and enforce," he added.

Kartchner is familiar with LANDesk products, having used them for three years. He said he has not compared the product with alternatives available from other vendors.

Peter Firstbrook, an analyst at Gartner, said LANDesk is implementing something other vendors offer, although LANDesk has the ability to see more details about a PC connecting than most other products do. Similar software is available from Microsoft and Cisco Systems, but Microsoft's requires a "lot of build-it-yourself," he said, while Cisco's Threat Agent requires most companies to install management tools from IBM Tivoli as well.

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