Vendor Landscape: Network Access Control


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NAC is back, tell a friend.

Your Challenge
Many organizations are looking at network access control (NAC) vendors to help secure their network.
The rise of mobile devices and BYOD programs in the business has added new challenges to controlling the network.
NAC vendors are marketing themselves as ready to meet these challenges, but not all of them have the specific functionality that makes their solutions ready for the modern network.
This vendor landscape isolates key differentiators between vendors, and provides resources to help accelerate your selection process.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

The NAC market is rapidly evolving, and some advanced features differentiate between vendors. Look to these features, in addition to deployment options and price, to select a NAC solution that fits your needs.
NAC solutions can come from infrastructure vendors, endpoint vendors, security vendors, or pure-play NAC vendors. Decide which type of vendor fits best with your current IT environment.

Impact and Result

Understand the NAC market, and which vendors are staying competitive among rapidly changing enterprise networks.
Quickly develop a shortlist of vendors that offer solutions covering the entire spectrum of NAC requirements.
Be confident that the right potential partners are being considered to meet current and future NAC needs.

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Vendor Landscape: Network Access Control

  1. 1. NAC is surging back. BYOD means more devices on your networks and more potential for problems. NAC is needed to provide increased visibility and increase control over access. Integration with other security components, such as MDM, SIEM, NGFWs and IDPS, are increasing the functionality of NAC while realizing a combined value across multiple products. Network access control (NAC) was created by Cisco as a concept in 2003, and as an actual capability in 2004. It has always been a tool to perform a pre-connect assessment of devices before allowing them access to the network and precious internal resources. Over the years, NAC has come to include more capabilities, such as continuous vulnerability assessment and intrusion prevention. NAS use settled down as the value of pre-connect assessment became muted for most, given the complexity of the required architecture and its impact on performance. The proliferation of personal devices created a renowned value for access control. Employers needed a way for personal devices not to be “guests” while also being centrally enforcing policies around access: NAC. NAC and MDM vendors began integrating their products to add peripheral security capabilities. A MDM presents the NAC solution with much greater visibility and information to define and edit access policies. Integration of peripheral security solutions is accelerating as the potential value realized from a connected security system becomes known. Several vendors provide bidirectional integrations so that NAC solutions can share data and create automated or controlled responses from these systems. The continued disruption in enterprise data centers though accelerated movement to virtualized platforms or cloud based platforms will change the scope of what a NAC solution must control. Data virtualization enables data pools to be dynamically delivered to applications allowing for data movement across devices and the network. NAC solutions will adapt through increased user and role access being based a multitude of inputs. NAC usage is expected to grow within the near future. In the long term some NAC functions will become embedded within wired and wireless access methods and infrastructure which will provide downward pressure on pricing.