Impulse SafeConnect: NAC Product Overview and Insight

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Company Description

Impulse was founded in 2004 to address the higher education industry. Since then, it has expanded into other fields, focusing on the identification and security of devices running on networks. Impulse is headquartered in Tampa, Fl., and is privately held.

Product Description

Impulse SafeConnect automatically identifies all devices seeking to gain access to the network. It automatically grants access to those devices based on policies created around attributes such as device type, user/role, location, time, ownership and security compliance. It assesses and enforces devices in real-time to ensure they meet acceptable use policies (set by the customer) around security compliance. If a device is found to be in violation, options include an audit report sent to IT, a warning, or quarantining the device with self-remediation steps. The company has many network integration partners so SafeConnect can be deployed centrally in environments at either Layer 2 or Layer 3.

“A NAC should have minimal impact to IT and offer a superior user experience,” said Laura Ellis, vice president of sales at Impulse. “A next-gen NAC should also be able to orchestrate with other security solutions, integrating and enhancing capabilities in solutions such as firewalls, SIEMs and threat detection systems.”


SafeConnect agentlessly identifies, profiles and provides access control for devices connecting to a network. For those looking for real-time assessment, enforcement and remediation for Windows and Mac OS X devices, an optional 1.5 MB agent is available. It also has the ability to enforce policy without an agent through integration with firewalls or thread detection systems.
Markets and Use Cases: Impulse is particularly strong in education. The requirement of being able to provide a secure environment for thousands of students onboarding at the same time with all kinds of devices in an environment known for tight resources and limited budgets has positioned the company to move into other industries. It reports strong growth in government and corporate customers with anywhere from 500 to 50,000 users.

Applicable Metrics

SafeConnect is an out-of-line solution, and as such, is said to have no network performance impact. Each appliance scales up to 25,000 concurrent endpoints, and can be assembled into a cluster for larger environments.

Security Qualifications

Eight specific PCI DSS requirements, two sections of Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), and four of the ePHI components of the HIPAA security rule.?


The company keeps adding integration partners and fingerprinting new devices to adapt to ever-changing environments.


It is delivered as an on-premise virtual or physical appliance. It is supported by a cloud-managed update service, providing automatic nightly policy build backups, software updates, version upgrades and device, antivirus and OS fingerprinting updates.


It can be modularly priced based on customer needs, and is offered in both perpetual and subscription formats, starting at under $7,000 for an environment of 250 concurrent devices and below.

Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been a full-time professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. He currently works freelance for a number of IT publications, including ServerWatch and CIO Insight. He is also the editor-in-chief of an international engineering magazine.

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