Cisco not releasing NAC client in open source

Statements about Cisco Trust Agent being released as open source software were inaccurate

Cisco says it is not releasing its NAC client software code to the open source community, nor does the company have plans to exit the endpoint security client business, despite a Cisco executive telling the contrary to the media earlier this month.

While Cisco's Bob Gleichauf, CTO of the company's Security Technology Group, told the press that Cisco planned to open-source its Cisco Trust Agent, Cisco is retracting this statement.

"CTA will be something that's open source," Gleichauf said earlier this month. "We don't want to be in the CTA business, so we're going to just open it up."

Cisco's public relations arm quashed that idea this week.

"Cisco is not open-sourcing CTA," said a Cisco spokesperson this week. "Cisco is taking a different approach to being open via standards" regarding NAC.

To this end, Cisco says it participates in some NAC standards efforts, such as the Network Endpoint Assessment (NEA) Working group, which is part of the IETF, and is working on an industry-wide protocol to standardize NAC. Engineers from Juniper, Symantec, and Nevis Networks are among the participants in NEA. "The corporate direction is to take that avenue towards that kind of openness" with NAC, the Cisco spokesman said. "But Cisco has decided not to open-source CTA. And there are no discussions to do that."

The CTA client is already distributed free to Cisco customers implementing Cisco's NAC technology, which allows LAN switches and other network gear to block unsafe client machines from a corporate network. CTA is an agent which collects security data about an endpoint and communicates the endpoint's status to the authentication layer of a NAC infrastructure -- such as authentication, authorization and accounting servers. In Cisco's model, if the CTA reports security data on an endpoint that does not meet a certain level, authentication servers and network gear work in concert to block port access to the endpoint.

Cisco has also worked to make its NAC technology interoperable with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) technology. The two companies last year said Microsoft's NAP client would work with Cisco's NAC infrastructure. However, Cisco is not playing with all NAC standardization and interoperability efforts. The company is still a hold-out from the 70-member Trusted Computing Group's Trusted Network Connect (TNC) -- which counts Juniper, Extreme Networks, HP ProCurve, and Nortel as members. The TCG is a vendor-neutral alliance which is working on ways to standardize how network hardware and security products communicate in a NAC deployment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Phil Hochmuth

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?