The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) standards organisation has announced a Trusted Network Connect (TNC) standard for authenticating and enforcing security polices on client devices that connect to corporate networks.
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TCG is backed by the suppliers including Intel, Microsoft and IBM, so its standards are often adopted by large numbers of commercial products.
Products using the TNC standard would allow companies to set rules to manage and restrict network access PCs, laptops or other mobile devices, depending on their security status.
The rise in the use of mobile devices, including laptops and personal digital assistants, in the field has given companies an operational headache, as they have to balance increased user productivity with tight corporate network security when it comes to remote user access.
The main problem the TNC standard wants to address is unpatched and malware-carrying remote devices that can infect clean devices on the network when they are allowed to connect.
The standard will ensure such endpoint devices have the correct anti-virus software, firewall and other security installed before letting them onto the network.
Cisco is already developing similar technology with its Self-Defending Network strategy, and commercial products enforcing remote security rules are already available from companies such as VMware.