Over the past couple of decades, businesses and network administrators were preoccupied with simply getting employees and business partners onto their networks. But with business networks now commonplace, the focus has gradually shifted from gathering new users to blocking unauthorized ones.
NAC (Network Access Control) has now become a key tool for keeping potential snoops and attackers off business networks, as well as for managing the more complex web of permissions and authorizations needed for different groups of users to access parts but not all of a network. The technology helps a business enforce its security policies on any person — or any device — seeking network access. NAC also helps businesses comply with external regulations and internal policies, as well as safeguarding network resources from evolving threats .
NAC benefits can be broadly grouped into three categories:
NAC technologies are offered by many different vendors and come in a wide range of types. Here are some of the major approaches used by NAC vendors:
NACs are produced by many different companies, including these market leaders:
NAC technology is evolving rapidly, and each vendor has its own interpretation of the exact roles the technology needs to fulfill. The market's ambiguity makes it difficult for NAC buyers to directly compare various products on a point-by-point basis. On the other hand, the wide range of available features and design philosophies makes it relatively easy for a business to find a NAC solution that closely matches its own needs.
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