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Network Access Control Solution – Points to consider before buying

Network access control regulates network security by prohibiting network resource accessibility to endpoint devices built on a defined security policy.

Enterprise modern networks support a wide range of traditional and new devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones, IoT devices (smartwatch), as well as industrial controls, servers, wireless access points. The organization’s network access control (NAC) solution must handle both business, staff and clients’ devices. NAC solutions automatically detect all devices connected to a network, classify them by type and as per configured compliance rules defined by the security team respond to them.

Factors to consider when choosing a NAC system include:

  • Level and Variety of Configuration Options – Qualitative NAC solutions offer a good number of configurations options for perfect network control. Authentication types, Time, location, path, endpoint, OS type, user groups are among the configuration options. Businesses can create and enforce policies that grant a specific level of network access depending on the type of system trying to connect, a staff member’s role in the organization, time of day, or person’s location. In organizations where clients or staff bring their own devices, device and OS type rules are especially important (BYOD). The company can grant these devices network access that differs from that granted to corporate devices. A company’s network is now more secure because it has greater control over when access is granted, to whom and from where. These configuration options’ level of detail also allows for efficient implementation in large infrastructures.
  • Dashboard and Reporting – The NAC has a lot of features and it integrates with the operations of other alerting systems with other existing systems. Endpoint additions or device state changes, guests signup, any custom field modification, and endpoint status results in all trigger notifications. System logs, email, and a web service are all used to send notifications. The alert system can run a program in response to a warning incident. NAC notification can be used to map modifications in the network. With NAC’s web-based network and endpoint data views reporting is easy. NAC provides simple dashboards and thorough insights into the health of endpoints that are connected to the network or are attempting to connect. Network Analysts in charge of compliance can easily customize the views to provide information in the style they desire. 
  • Cost – The cost of NAC varies depending on the size and capabilities of the network, it’s worth remembering that a significant portion of the expense may be for basic handholding. How much money business is ready to spend? Does the company think that whether it is receiving benefits?
  • Support – Following the selection of a NAC product, the second step is to implement and support it. NAC must be administered by dedicated skilled employees or should be added to professional employee’s responsibility, in order to be effective. In terms of prices and degrees of service assistance, there are differences. It’s crucial to examine what kind of help the specific vendor provides, as well as whether or not that support is available in your region. In all circumstances, thorough technical support is an optional addition that might significantly raise the implementation costs. NAC products have an expiration policy, which means the vendor will no longer maintain them, therefore the pricing and frequency of system upgrades will have to be factored in.
  • Integration – One of the most important aspects of selecting a proper NAC system is verifying that it integrates with current systems. Mobile Device Management (MDM), endpoint solutions, and Web-Application firewalls, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Security information and event management (SIEM), vulnerability assessment, are just a few of the solutions that many enterprises have already paid extensively in. If NAC products cannot integrate with these other security solutions, they will be less beneficial. Creating a list of all the current systems that are used on the organization’s network which will need to integrate with before looking for NAC systems, and then narrow search accordingly.
  • Addons – Is the basic price sufficient to provide firms with all the information and control they require? NAC products contain small hidden expenses because the base package does not include all of the essential features. What are the additional features that the NAC product will require in order to give all of the desired benefits? On a major network, the additional expense of addon modules can go above thousands of dollars. Check what the basic NAC product offers, as well as how the organization intends to use NAC. 
  • Compliance – Many various regulations, such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Payment Security Regulations, Health care regulations, can be fulfilled with the use of NAC. Each of these legislations specifies network access controls that must be enforced, particularly in the case of BYOD and random devices. Many of these standards can be aided by NAC, which continuously monitors network connections and takes measures based on an organization’s policy. In many circumstances, these policies can be adjusted to suit the compliance regulations mentioned. While purchasing NAC products, considering compliance and choosing a vendor that can assist the company in this process, whether it’s through support service or established policies that can be changed to give the compliance your organization requires.