Secure Access for the Federal Government

Pulse Secure has a long history with US agencies to secure networks, meet compliance mandates, and boost productivity

What’s on your network?

We understand the pressures that providing Secure Access to the nation's critical IT infrastructure can bring

  • Compliance Pressure - Agencies are under pressure to comply with NIST 800-53 access control requirements
  • System Exposures - Existing safeguards, such as Cisco ACS, have entered end-of-life phases
  • Coordinated Action - Need to leverage existing infrastructure and systems to automate prevention and informed response
  • Limited Resources - Budgets are constrained, and experienced security personnel are scarce

Pulse Secure put IT in the know

End-to-end Access Protection for Civilian, Intelligence, and Department of Defense Agencies

  • Meet compliance mandates for 802.1x (IEEE), Layer 2 Switch STIGs, Comply to Connect, and NIST 800-53 AC Controls
  • Secure the complex and expanding Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Maximize ROI and lower TCO through interoperability with existing network and security infrastructure

A Robust Solution for NIST 800-53 Requirements

Government IT organizations must demonstrate and maintain compliance with a large and growing number of regulations and standards governing network access control (NAC) and remote access. For over a dozen years, Pulse Secure has been helping federal civilian, intelligence, and Department of Defense (DOD) agencies do exactly that – swiftly, seamlessly, and costeffectively.

The Pulse Secure solution provides a holistic solution for local and remote access based on user and device identity. Administrators configure contextual access policies on Pulse Connect Secure to control VPN access to the data center based on devices, locations, resources, users and groups, or even endpoint profiling. Pulse Policy Secure with the Pulse Profiler extends policies to internal networks, allowing organization to identify, profile, secure and manage internal devices while also providing NAC policies for enforcement by a growing ecosystem of third party security solutions. Pulse One provides centralized management and reporting to provide complete visibility and meet the needs of the most stringent compliance environments.

How It Works

Pulse Policy Secure, our high-performing and scalable NAC policy server, is founded on robust industry standards, including 802.1x and RADIUS. It secures your network by:

  • Guarding mission-critical applications and sensitive data
  • Providing user and device identity information for granular security enforcement by next-generation firewalls, access points, switches, and other interoperable platforms
  • Delivering comprehensive NAC management, profiling, and monitoring for visibility of user and Internet of Things (IoT) devices


  • Supplying granular, identity, and role-enabled access control from remote locations to the data center
  • Addressing network access control challenges such as inside threats, guest access control, and regulatory compliance


Government Diagram

DISA’s STIGs (Layer 2 Switch, WLAN Authentication Server Security) and 802.1x Mandates

When it comes to meeting mandated authentication requirements such as the DISA’s Layer 2 Switch STIG, which mandates enabling 802.1x authentication, your agency may have faced the problem that most vendors want to sell a comprehensive – and expensive – solution that would entail replacing your existing systems and equipment: systems and equipment that involved a significant investment and which you do not want to retire at this time.

At Pulse Secure, we are vendor agnostic. Our AAA/RADIUS authentication server, which enables 802.1x authentication perfectly, integrates seamlessly with your existing infrastructure via open standards. This integration allows you to keep your current systems in place, accelerating your time to value by lowering your overall total cost of ownership (TCO) and maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

Additionally, with Pulse Secure’s RADIUS solution, you don’t have to enable 802.1x connectivity through complex, multi-tiered solutions requiring significant network redesign. Connectivity is enabled via existing capabilities on your endpoints, such as PCs, phones, and servers, in conjunction with settings enabled in your existing network switch or wireless access point. Everything then flows through the RADIUS server to ensure compliant authentication.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here – and it is expanding at lightspeed. IoT devices require network access but have software updates and configuration settings established by the manufacturer that limit the ability to harden the device. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that IoT brings “multiple opportunities for malicious actors to manipulate the flow of information to and from network connected devices.” DHS further advocates that agencies define network access controls to limit IoT devices to specific ports and to structure network permissions related to the IoT device’s use.

Pulse Secure supports government IoT initiatives by combining device profiling with role-based access controls to define appropriate use polices. Pulse Profiler, founded on the RADIUS server, assesses each IoT device in terms of its role and rights: that is, what the device is, what it should be doing, and where it should be connecting. For example, a video camera should only connect to its video console. If it starts making connections elsewhere in the network, that raises a red flag. Profiling, therefore, provides network access control for the IoT.

Additionally, Pulse Policy Secure automatically detects and classifies IoT devices and puts them into the administratively-defined IoT network. The solution also offers sponsor-based IoT device access where the sponsor can approve or deny IoT devices based on corporate policies. If Pulse Policy Secure detects a changed IoT profile or a compromised IoT device, it will automatically take enforcement actions to put devices into quarantine or into an isolated network.

Comply to Connect

Comply to Connect demands that any endpoint be vetted against established security requirements prior to connecting to your agency’s network. Some vendors enable Comply to Connect in an agentless mode. At Pulse Secure, we recommend the implementation of a Pulse Secure agent for government agencies aligning with Comply to Connect directives. The following table shows the top three reasons for this recommendation.