Furniture maker uses NAC gear for more than NAC

ForeScout CounterACT backs up other tools

When Chad Clement joined worldwide office furniture maker Haworth 18 months ago, he discovered the company needed to get a handle on network security.

Part of the problem was that Haworth didn't have an accurate inventory of the 12,000 devices on the network, which spans 80 sites worldwide, and that even with configuration management tools in place, some devices didn't meet corporate configuration standards.

As the company's new information security manager, Clement also wanted to deploy an intrusion detection system (IDS) so he would know when the company's valuable data-center assets were being compromised.

A data-security assessment commissioned before he got there found cracks in the company's defenses, including endpoint integrity. "We wanted to make sure that all the hosts in our environment belonged in our environment, as well as had a standardized configuration on them - that the antivirus was our standard antivirus and that it was up to date," Clement says.

The company already had Shavlik NetChk management and configuration software for servers and Symantec's Altiris client management for desktops, but they didn't catch everything. "Machines got missed," he says. "A lot of times it was that the agent wasn't running on them to inform users that they needed to get their updates."

Also in use on the network were Qualys vulnerability management and BMC Remedy service management software, and he thought he could make better use of them as well.

The security-assessment consultant had used ForeScout's CounterACT NAC gear to help discover devices on the Haworth network for its report. Clement says that capability plus its IDS features and the ability to assess compliance with corporate endpoint configuration standards interested him in the ForeScout appliance.

He also considered StillSecure, but after trying out a simulation of it online he decided he liked the ForeScout interface better and the visibility that it gave him.

The fact that the CounterACT platform integrates with the BMC Remedy service-management software influenced him, too. The firm uses BMC Remedy as a way to track trouble tickets, and CounterACT can work with it to automatically open tickets when endpoints are found out of compliance with corporate configuration standards.

"But the goal with the Remedy plug-in is, when they're out of compliance, automatically create a Remedy ticket to have the issue resolved," he says. That integration is on hold at the moment, though, because the company is upgrading its Remedy deployment.

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