Hexis Cyber Solutions NetBeat NAC Enterprise
Strengths: Easy setup, solid interface.
Weaknesses: More expensive than we expected, and we would have liked to see more support options.
Verdict: Evolved from one of the old-timers in the field, this one shows its strong pedigree and is well worth looking at.
The Hexis Cyber Solutions NetBeat NAC is a well-designed network access control solution that can be deployed in minutes. Boasting powerful functionality, it is incredibly simple to set up. It allows for inventory and regulation of endpoints, but also encompasses regulatory compliance which is a massive plus. This appliance can check for compliance with just about every regulation out there - and is very quick. Another feature we appreciated is the tool's ability to scan all inventoried hosts for vulnerabilities using the CVE system. The NetBeat even includes the ability to quarantine hosts infected with malware.
It was a breeze to set up. For our tests, were given the NetBeat NAC Enterprise 10, a 1U server. We removed it from the box, hooked up a keyboard and monitor and fired it up. We followed the included getting-started guide to set the management address and we got the appliance running with no problem. We logged into the web interface, configured some settings regarding the location of our directory server, as well as SNMP, and we were ready to go. Normally, this is where licensing would be setup, but our evaluation unit came pre-licensed.
As soon as we gave the NetBeat NAC the address range that our network exists on, it began applying its built-in policies. It then brought us to a screen with all of the devices it had discovered, where it provided information about the name, OS and manufacturer of each device. We trusted the devices and our NAC was fully set up. We tested rogue devices, which were immediately stopped. After we had NAC working, we also set up integration with Active Directory. For enhanced inventory, NetBeat can be synchronized with Active Directory to report on when users log into machines. When examining inventory, admins may then see user activity on questionable devices and take action. One of the things we really liked about the setup of the NetBeat NAC was that it only required one network interface to function. Needing only one network card made it a breeze to set up, and didn't require reconfiguration of our existing network.
The NetBeat came packaged with a quick-start guide in the box, which covered initial setup and connecting to the network. The rest of the manuals were on the device and were easily downloaded using the web interface. In addition to the manuals, the help page of the web interface gave us a great deal of information about the device. We found that the manuals were easy to navigate and well written and they were useful for helping us get to know the device.
Paid support is available 5/8 in packages of one or three years, including phone and email assistance, a web portal and access to FAQs. The pricing is $2,039.40 for one year or $4,758.60 for three years.
Overall, the NetBeat NAC is a good value for the price. At around $17,000, the NetBeat NAC Enterprise 10's ease of setup quickly justifies the price tag. Its Active Directory integration provides for enhanced oversight of network access control and adds a lot of value to a great device.