Network Access Control (NAC) software is a security solution designed to control access to network resources, regulate users’ online activity, and protect businesses against cyber threats. The software enables IT managers to monitor, manage, and control endpoint devices on their networks. NAC software can enforce security policies and provide real-time visibility into network traffic.
Who uses the software?
Network Access Control software is essential for enterprises that want to secure their networks and data from cyber threats. It’s an ideal solution for IT administrators who manage large networks of endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops, servers, and mobile devices. The software is also suitable for government agencies, healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and schools.
Benefits of the software
NAC software provides numerous benefits to businesses and organizations. Here are a few key benefits:
1. Enhanced Network Security: NAC software enhances network security by identifying and blocking unauthorized devices and users from accessing the network. It helps to prevent the spread of malware, including viruses and ransomware, among endpoints.
2. Centralized Management: The software provides centralized management and control over endpoint devices on the network, which helps to reduce the workload of IT managers. They can monitor the status of all devices, apply security policies, and manage network traffic from one console.
3. Real-time Visibility: The software provides real-time visibility into network traffic, which helps to identify and troubleshoot network issues quickly. It can detect and alert IT managers to potential cyber threats such as suspicious activity and non-compliant devices.
Features of the software
Here are some of the primary features of Network Access Control software:
1. Discovery and Identification: NAC software can scan the network to discover and identify all devices, including operating systems, software versions, and IP addresses. It can also identify unmanaged devices to ensure that all endpoints comply with the organization’s security policies.
2. Access Control: The software can enforce access control policies and restrict network access to authorized devices and users. It can create rules based on user roles, device type, and location. It can also quarantine non-compliant devices until they meet the security requirements.
3. Guest Management: The software can manage guest access to the network by providing temporary access credentials and limitations on network access. It can also enforce security policies for guest devices.
5 examples of relevant software products
1. Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) – www.cisco.com
Cisco ISE is a network access control solution that provides centralized visibility and control over network access policies. It can identify devices, users, and applications and enforce security policies based on user roles, device type, and location. The software provides complete control over guest access, and it can integrate with other Cisco network security technologies, such as firewalls and remote access VPN.
2. Forescout CounterACT – www.forescout.com
Forescout CounterACT is a NAC software that provides real-time visibility into all network-connected devices across the organization. The software can automatically classify devices and enforce security policies based on the device type, location, and user identity. It can also integrate with third-party security solutions, such as SIEM and firewalls.
3. Pulse Policy Secure – www.pulsesecure.net
Pulse Policy Secure provides a comprehensive solution for network access control, including visibility, policy enforcement, and automation of security workflows. The software can manage access policies for endpoints, IoT devices, and guests on both wired and wireless networks. It can also provide adaptive authentication and posture assessment.
4. Extreme Networks Control – www.extremenetworks.com
Extreme Networks Control is a NAC solution that provides granular access control for endpoint devices and IoT devices. The software can identify and categorize endpoints, enforce security policies, and provide real-time visibility into network traffic. It can also integrate with third-party security solutions, such as SIEM and firewalls.
5. Aruba ClearPass – www.arubanetworks.com
Aruba ClearPass is a NAC solution that provides comprehensive visibility and control over all devices on the network, including IoT devices. The software can enforce security policies based on user roles, device type, and location. It can also provide complete control over guest access and integrate with third-party security technologies, such as SIEM and firewalls.
Drawbacks and limitations of the software
Although NAC software provides many benefits to organizations, it has some drawbacks and limitations. Here are a few:
1. Cost: The software can be expensive, especially for small businesses or organizations with limited budgets.
2. Complexity: The software can be complex to set up and manage, which can require a highly skilled IT team.
3. False Positives: The software can sometimes generate false positives, which can be frustrating for users and IT managers. It can also create unnecessary workload for the IT team.
Network Access Control software is an essential tool for businesses and organizations that want to secure their networks and data from cyber threats. It provides centralized management and control over endpoint devices, enhanced network security, and real-time visibility into network traffic. The software enables organizations to enforce access control policies and restrict network access to authorized devices and users. Although NAC software has some drawbacks and limitations, the benefits outweigh the costs for organizations that want to protect their networks and data.