Agents Are Effective For Pre Connect Scanning

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Dissolvable agents are effective for pre-connect scanning, but post-connect use involves disruption of a user’s network connection (e.g., redirecting to a captive web portal to again download and run the agent). Dissolvable agents generally do not require administrative rights in order to be run on endpoint devices, so they are preferable for use on unmanaged devices, such as those belonging to guest users. The specific capabilities of agents vary widely among NAC solutions. Some provide only basic endpoint compliance checks to validate the OS version, patch levels, and the presence of up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware tools. Others may go much further and check for the presence of required and/or prohibited applications, particular files or file types, or even a range of custom registry-level checks. In addition to endpoint compliance validation, some solutions (as noted previously) also utilize agents directly in the enforcement of access policies by manipulating protocols or configuration settings on the endpoint itself. However, the effectiveness of those solutions is extremely limited for the same reason as the reliance on supplicants limits the effectiveness of 802.1X, since many endpoint devices will not support the use of agents or supplicants. Benefits Security Automation and Orchestration delivers similar benefits to 802.1X in terms of authenticating users and devices before allowing access to wired and wireless LANs, as well as enabling role-based access
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