Network access control (NAC) is a solution for restricting network access to users with the correct credentials. It has several advantages, including visibility, life-cycle management, and authorization. These features benefit IT management and security, providing a 24/7 inventory of authorized endpoints. Some NAC features include pre-admission network access control, which considers user requests to access the network, but only gives access to the user after successful authentication.
Limitations of Network Access Control
Network access control (ACL) is the process of limiting access to sensitive areas of a network. There are generally several types of ACLs. For example, general access grants access to non-sensitive data, such as company policy and procedures. The other type, known as sensitive access, grants access only to specified people or groups. Moreover, network access control examples are important in modern IT environments, where networks have expanded beyond localized wired systems. Large computer networks contain traditional data center hardware, mobile infrastructure, cloud services, and the Internet of things. Hence, it can be challenging to detect and block unauthorized third parties. A traditional security method uses IP addresses to identify endpoints, but this approach only works well with virtual machines, which constantly move from one location to another.
Network access control is a good choice for businesses that want to secure sensitive assets, but the technology has certain limitations. One of these limitations is that NAC may need to be compatible with existing security controls. For example, unauthorized access to a NAC system can compromise the functionality of other security measures. This can create a denial of service scenario, which is an organization’s last need.
Goals of Network Access Control
Network access control is a critical element of network security. It provides visibility into devices that access the network and denies access to those that do not comply with security policies. Businesses can enforce security policies and strengthen their IT infrastructure by providing these solutions. In addition, network access control allows them to monitor who is accessing their network and what they can do while on it.
Network access control is essential to protecting a business’s network assets from hackers, cybercriminals, and data thieves. It is also essential for businesses to be gatekeepers for authorized users. For example, it is important to implement policies that limit the use of laptops, tablets, and mobile devices for business purposes.
Methods of Implementing Network Access Control
Network access control, or NAC, restricts network access to specific users and areas. It allows companies to prevent unauthorized access to data, including sensitive customer information. For example, network access control could prevent the 2013 Target store attack, where employees could access sensitive customer data while on the job.
The NAC process ensures that endpoints meet pre-connect requirements and are given appropriate authorization. It also continuously monitors the endpoints’ access and compliance. Their network privileges can be reduced or revoked if they fail to meet the conditions. Frequently, endpoints are equipped with agents that can monitor the state of their hardware and software and then notify the NAC policy server.
Network access control can help an organization ensure compliance with HIPAA and GDPR security regulations. Organizations may also want to implement NAC to follow corporate security compliance regulations. NAC technology includes pre-admission, where the technology evaluates the identity of a network user before admitting them. This ensures the authenticity of user credentials stored on secure databases.
Automated Features of Network Access Control
Automated features of network access control provide organizations with advanced security and network visibility. These features allow organizations to identify devices and users on the network and prevent infrastructure damage. They can also help organizations meet compliance standards, such as SOX and HIPAA. By using network access control, organizations can update their security policies, so they can comply with regulations.
Automated features of network access control can be configured for a variety of needs. For example, visibility features can provide a real-time inventory of all authorized endpoints in the network. They can also allow for pre-admission network access control, which considers whether a device is legitimate and authenticated before granting access to the network.
Automated network access control features can work with third-party tools to protect network assets and corporate data. Additionally, administrators can easily monitor the network from any location, including remote workers. This functionality allows small and midsize businesses to allow employees to work from anywhere while maintaining network security.