9.1. All PCs Are Not Created Equal

In recent years, the sheer number of device platforms that you can find in a typical enterprise network has mushroomed Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix, Solaris, Windows Mobile, Apple iPhone, Symbian, RIM BlackBerry, Google Android, and more.

Different groups within the organizations have different reasons for their platform of choice, and nowhere has choice manifested itself more openly than with the enormous popularity of mobile devices. The question you have to ask yourself right now is, "How can I possibly keep our data secure with so many different types of devices on the network?"

Figure 9-1 shows several possible devices that a typical end user might use during the course of the day. Multiply this group of devices by potentially thousands of users, each with his or her own personal machine preference, and you end up with a very large list of devices on the corporate network that require access to e-mail, files, applications, and more.

Without help from a NAC solution, you definitely can't easily classify these different devices and gauge an appropriate security posture. Fortunately, most NAC vendors realize that today's modern organizations require choice and mobility, so product offerings are evolving to support more and more devices. After all, the first step in deciding whether a device can access the network involves determining what type of device it is.

Figure 9.1. The types of devices that a user works with during a typical day ...

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