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Cisco NAC Release 4.6.1: Enhance the User Experience and Simplify Management

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Cisco® NAC Release 4.6.1 provides customers with more deployment options and user-friendly support. This release delivers a newly designed Windows-based Cisco NAC Agent to improve the end-user experience. It also provides a dynamic approach to manage Cisco NAC Agent operational configurations in real time, thereby reducing operational costs.

Newly Designed Cisco NAC Agent

Cisco NAC supports user authentication, posture assessment, and remediation for employees, contractors, and guests using a Cisco NAC Agent (persistent client) or its web version (a browser-based thin client). The Cisco NAC Agent is an integral piece of the end-user interaction with the Cisco NAC solution.
Cisco NAC Release 4.6.1 includes a Windows-based Cisco NAC Agent with a new look and feel (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Windows-Based Cisco NAC Agent

In addition to user authentication, the new agent supports posture assessment and remediation on 64-bit Windows operating systems. This agent simplifies troubleshooting through a new Log Packager utility that can collect diagnostic information from endpoints. It also supports visually impaired users by providing compatibility with the Microsoft Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen reader.

Double-Byte Language Support

Cisco NAC supports user authentication using multiple options, including a Cisco NAC Agent for both Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as a web browser for any operating system.
Workforce globalization places strong demands on organizations today to support end users in many geographical locations. The new Windows-based Cisco NAC Agent in Release 4.6.1 addresses this need by providing support for multiple double-byte languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
The new Cisco NAC Agent in Release 4.6.1 adds Multibyte Character Set (MBCS) support to enable localized dialogues and messages for agent login, posture assessment, and remediation screens.

Centrally Manage Cisco NAC Agent Configuration Using XML

When dealing with a large installation of NAC Agents, it is important to be able to control the agent login and operational settings in a centralized manner. Being able to control these parameters dynamically at run time can save on costs.
Cisco NAC Release 4.6.1 enables administrators to construct and distribute an optional agent configuration XML file that specifies custom parameters to control Windows-based Cisco NAC Agent behavior. The XML file is downloaded from the server to the client during agent login. This new method of dynamically configuring agents on client machines replaces the previous Clean Access Agent approach, which used static Windows registry settings. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/nac/appliance/release_notes/461/461rn.html#wp833066

Release 4.6.1 Resources and Documentation

Release 4.6.1 software download:

Release notes for Cisco NAC Release 4.6.1:

NAC Manager Installation and Configuration Guide for Release 4.6.1:

NAC Server Installation and Configuration Guide for Release 4.6.1:

Support information for Cisco NAC Agents, Release 4.6.1 and later:

Summary

Cisco NAC Appliance Release 4.6.1 delivers many new and useful capabilities that provide increased endpoint coverage, flexible deployment options, and a more scalable and manageable solution for enterprise deployments. For more information about Cisco NAC, please visit http://www.cisco.com/go/nac.