With Bring-Your-Own-Device policies, remote workers, third-party contractors, and software applications that double as work tools, organizations face increased risks of unauthorized access or malware attacks. Network access control systems help reduce these risks with automated authentication and security policies that verify users and endpoint devices.
Pre-admission NAC evaluates user identities and device types and allows entry when they comply with company security policies. Once inside, post-admission NAC monitors devices for compliance and prevents lateral movement by quarantining non-compliant devices to a restricted network until fixed.
Network access control provides a layer of security to keep bad actors from entering your organization’s network and stealing sensitive data. This is done through pre-admission and post-admission controls. Pre-admission controls evaluate any user requesting admission to your network and only allow entry when they prove that the device or user complies with the company’s security policies. This also stops malware that slipped through the cracks from moving laterally throughout your network, limiting damage and cost.
Post-admission controls work to monitor users once they are inside your network, keeping an eye on what they do and how they use your resources. This ensures that your internal firewalls and other security protocols are followed, preventing unauthorized third-person access to your valuable information and assets.
The ability to detect and authenticate devices and users on the fly is key for a growing company. With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, remote employees, and third-party contractors using various devices to connect to your corporate network, you need an NAC solution to identify and verify these devices before they can access any company information or systems.
NAC solutions also enable you to see the types of devices currently connecting to your network at any given time, which can help IT teams prioritize security policies specific to certain device types. This visibility can be achieved through scanning and agent software or by using unified administration tools that recognize end-users characteristics and device types regardless of where they are located on your network.
With business operations becoming increasingly agile and global in scale, it’s crucial to protect the data that fuels business processes. Network access control is a robust defense against cyberattacks, safeguarding the digital perimeter by enabling granular control for user and device security.
Malicious actors are constantly devising innovative methods to breach the defenses of a corporate network and gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. To counter these threats, it’s essential to have the right level of security in place that enables companies to fortify their networks without hindering operational efficiency or convenience.
Network access control solutions act as sentinels on the front lines of a company’s digital infrastructure, guarding against unauthorized entry by enforcing strict access policies and blocking devices that fail to meet corporate security requirements. This way, companies can ensure that all users and endpoint devices are fully authorized to connect to the network.
NAC solutions can also make corporate networks more legible for security teams by allowing them to map out the contours of their network perimeters and identify all connected devices that do not comply with corporate security policies. In this way, they can detect and launch mitigation actions against malicious activity before it does any real damage. This gives organizations a much stronger cybersecurity posture and helps them to comply with cybersecurity regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.
Network access control enables organizations to monitor and authorize device, user, and guest access from a single platform. Rather than relying on agents that download software to endpoints, which often require IT intervention to install and remove, NAC solutions use various methods to gather information, including passive discovery and behavioral analytics. The results of this information are used to create a centralized security policy that grants or denies access based on the device’s posture and users’ behaviors.
With Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies and the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, many enterprise networks are now crowded with unmanaged endpoints. As a result, IT teams need to find ways to authenticate and control access across all of these new points of entry.
NAC can provide these capabilities by acting as a proxy for all new devices entering the network, allowing IT teams to validate that users and the devices they’re connecting from can do so while providing visibility into the devices and how they’re using corporate resources. This can help stop lateral movements within the organization, allowing cyberattackers to spread more quickly. It can also prevent unauthorized users from accessing critical data or tampering with network equipment. For these reasons, NAC is essential to any modern cybersecurity strategy. The ability to rapidly and consistently authenticate devices and prevent unauthorized access protects all enterprise networks.
Network access control ensures that only users and devices with appropriate privileges can access sensitive data. This prevents unauthorized access to a company’s core assets and can help meet regulatory compliance standards (e.g., HIPAA or PCI). NAC solutions can also authenticate and profile all wired and wireless devices that connect to a network — including BYOD and Internet of Things (IoT) devices — enabling granular network segmentation for IT and OT environments.
Depending on the solution, NAC can assess and authenticate users and devices before they can connect to a corporate network or, in post-admission design after they’re already inside the perimeter. The pre-admission NAC approach is ideal for organizations that require the highest level of security, as it can block unauthorized devices from connecting to their networks and reduce the risk of cyber threats by removing their entry point.
The post-admission NAC approach identifies users’ privileges after being admitted to the network and monitors their actions. If an endpoint device tries to breach those privileges, the system will shut it down or limit its access. This prevents lateral movement by attackers and protects the integrity of critical infrastructure systems increasingly exposed to attack. NAC solutions can integrate with other security infrastructures via application program interfaces (APIs) to create a more robust and holistic security posture.