Strengths: Feature-rich, small in size, easy to set up and manage
Weaknesses: Nothing we found
Verdict: It would be in the best interest of many organisations looking for network access control to start by evaluating the NACWall device
NetClarity's NACWall Micro is amazingly feature-rich, even though it isn't much bigger than the average digital camera. This dual-interfaced device starts by performing a network discovery process that attempts to automate the creation of a local area network map or inventory list. Once a system has been discovered, the NACWall begins to audit your network devices for potential security holes.
It uses the common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) database to define and explain vulnerabilities uncovered during this initial audit. The audit type is configurable to meet various industry standards and regulations. On a DHCP-enabled network NACWall uses dynamic detection.
When a device is added to the network, NACWall alerts the appropriate people via email, then it audits the newly discovered system for vulnerabilities. If the system is found to be vulnerable, NACWall can quarantine the vulnerable device through a smart switch, firewall or both. The discovery process also works in reverse fashion. The appliance can be configured to ping devices at selected intervals and to alert the responsible party via email.
NACWall Micro goes beyond simple vulnerability discovery by using a workflow management component. This allows for a vulnerability remediation to be assigned to a specific person. When the remediation is completed by the assigned party, a manager's approval is necessary to remove the task from the workflow manager.
The appliance also has an update feature where new vulnerabilities to be tested and support packs for the NACWall itself can be downloaded.
Installation was beyond easy and requires little knowledge of networks or security to install, run and maintain the unit.
NACWall is shipped with a hard copy quick-start guide and electronic versions of the entire administration manual are available from the device itself.
Support is included for the first year at no additional cost. After this period has expired, bronze support is 12 per cent, while the silver support plan comes in at 20 per cent of the purchase price. NetClarity provides email, phone and web assistance.
The pricing is at the low end of the spectrum, making NACWall Micro very good value.