TechDogs-All About "Network Access Control Software"

Networking Solutions

All About Network Access Control Software

By TechDogs

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Job Description of a Network Access Control (NAC) solution:

·         Keep the bad guys out

·         Keep the organization's secrets safe

·         Keep the company's cybersecurity under control

·         Keep cool

On paper, that seems like an easy job, right? You couldn't be more wrong. NAC solutions are known to be the hustlers of the IT security scene. Talking about NAC Software, in this article, we are going to discuss what is a Network Access Control (NAC) Solution, how does it work, its different types, will and why we need it in the world today. So, grab your cuppa joe and get ready to learn something new.
TechDogs-If You All Could Have NAC That Would Be Great-"Network Access Control Software"
Remember when Peter Gibbons and his team in Office Space were so easily able to infect Initech's accounting system with a virus that resulted in the company losing $300,000? Peter and his colleagues, cheeky little buggers, siphoned-off fractions of pennies into a bank account, which over time could have resulted in them living a luxurious life on the beach sipping fancy cocktails every day. Sigh! If only. While we all like to root for the underdog, businesses getting robbed is not funny, especially when we have technologies like Network Access Control Solution or Network Access Control Software on our side. Interesting segue, right?

If only Initech had an NAC Solution in place, they might have saved the company from burning down from the virus and literally. Now, those of you who haven't watched Office Space, go watch it right now. It's a cult classic and holds up, we promise! Calling everybody else who is here to learn a thing or two Network Access Control or, as we like to call it, "boo-boo blocker."

In this article, we will discuss what Network Access Control Solution is, how it works, its different types, how it benefits an organization and why we need it in today's world.

So, let's jump right in.

Let's Start With The Basics What Is A Network Access Control Solution?

Sometimes, the techiest of all people also don't understand what the heck an NAC Solution is, so forgive yourself if you don't know it either. While the words Network Access Control seem very daunting, the basic idea behind it is pretty straightforward. NAC is a network security software and its job is to ensure that only authorized people and devices get access to your personal or business network. That was not so difficult, was it? Keep going.

The Journey So Far For NAC

The concept of NAC has been around for a long time, maybe a little older than the Lord of the Rings series. Before we had a separate NAC Solution, there were different intrusion prevention systems and antivirus systems. The invention of a separate NAC Solution centralized the process of applying security protocols effortlessly.

There was a time when NAC Solutions were only used for blocking unauthorized devices accessing the enterprise network. However, as times changed, the cybersecurity tool was upgraded to serve the modern workplace with modern problems that included securing the company's network for threats arising from BYOD (Bring Your Device) policies, unsecured mobile hotspots, cloud services, of course, the Internet of Things (IoT) (an IT Manager's nightmare).

Today's NAC providers often collaborate with Mobile Device Management (MDM) providers and IoT device providers to ensure the holistic protection of all endpoints.

Are you with us so far? Great, now let's look at how does NAC system stops a device from accessing the network.

How Does An NAC Solution Work?


Think of NAC as Gandalf screaming at the top of his voice 'You shall not pass!', at network security breachers and scaring them away. If only things were that simple...

NAC works on the organization's set policies that are activated on connected network devices every time a device tries to log into the network. There are two stages to this process, one is authentication and the other is authorization. If a device fails either of these processes, the access request is immediately blocked by security control, decreasing security risk.

In the authentication stage, the NAC Solution asks the user to prove their identity using various unique verification methods such as a username/ password check or a fancy biometric scan. Exactly how Thor must establish his identity with his palm print, voice recognition and password 'Point Break' to start the Quinjet. The next step is authentication, where the NAC deployment inspects the policies to approve or disapprove the user's request. Additionally, NAC allows or disallows a device to access the organization's network following the granular controls over what device gets what type of access.

What Are The Different Types Of Network Access Control?

There are two types of people in the world basic Network Access Control Solutions and they are:
  • Pre-admission

    This one is self-explanatory; the pre-admission NAC Software is the one that ensures the security of the user or device before granting access to the network. It allows access to the device or user only if it/ they are compliant with the corporate security policies and are authorized to access the network.

  • Post-admission

    The second type of Network Access Control Solution is activated when a user or device within the network tries to access a part of the network; they are not authorized to enter. Without a proper authentication process, the NAC will restrict lateral movement within the network.

In case you are asking yourself, how does a Network Access Control Solution help the organization? We are answering that for you next…

Benefits Of Network Access Control Solution

TechDogs-Benefits Of Network Access Control-Solution The Network Globe Shows Far This World Has Come In "Terms Of Technology"

Unless you are living under a rock, we are sure you know how far this world has come in terms of technology. We even have flying hoverboards not so different from what Marty McFly uses in Back to the Future II! We are living in some exciting times. NAC Solutions have come a long way, too and here is how they add value to an organization.

When it comes to cybersecurity, organizations need to secure the network from multiple threats. So, instead of searching for different vendors for antivirus, firewalls and managing user access permissions, organizations can centrally adopt an NAC Solution. As the very nature of the solution, NAC enforces pre-determined policies on all users and devices, giving a boost to your internal IT infrastructure's security. Don't get us wrong, NAC is not a replacement for antivirus but some of their functions overlap and thus, you might not need to invest heaps in a separate high-end antivirus.

Additionally, in recent years we have seen a huge jump in the use of smartphones and this new thing called the Internet of Things (IoT) across different business domains globally. These up-and-coming technologies are not fail-proof and InfoSec (Information Security) experts see them as a potential threat. Once again, the NAC Solution comes to the rescue! It is capable of securing enterprise-level networks, where many devices are trying to connect all the time.

NAC tool is especially helpful for companies that have boarded the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) bandwagon. As the name suggests, BYOD is when a company allows its employees and vendors to use their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices on the local office networks. NAC secures and provides visibility to the organization from any intentional or unintentional security and data breach from these external devices.

The primary purpose of any NAC Solution is to protect a widespread perimeter of the organization's network. That includes any physical devices as well as any cloud-based systems that are trying to gain unauthorized access. The control system proactively blocks or stops any threat before it becomes a problem. NAC solution not only helps in protecting the company's data in a single location but can also authenticate network access for different branch locations.

So, the next time you are not able to access your Facebook or Tinder at work, you know who is to blame *Wink Wink*

Moving Forward With NAC

The world of Information Security has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past decade with no intention of slowing down. That's a bit of an exaggeration but we are not so far away from Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over and making us a part of the matrix. This has complicated the cybersecurity scene quite a bit and we don't have enough IT security solution heroes to help us out. As a result, organizations are likely to move their security systems to cloud-based security policy and more importantly, towards using NAC as-a-Service.

As the world hops, skips and jumps towards "lazy gadgets" of IoT, we are likely to witness a rise in the trend of organizations using more accessible NAC Solutions such as centralized NAC, agentless NAC and NAC delivered from the cloud and Software-as-a-Service. These futuristic NAC Solutions will aim to save time in deployment, reduce cybersecurity costs and reduce the InfoSec team's manual efforts. All this without compromising on the quality of securing today's intricate and extreme networks hybrid system. Unlike the current NAC tools that are perimeter-focused at the endpoint, the Next-gen NAC Solutions will be able to easily secure the overstretched and decentralized organizations on the cloud.

That's all folks!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Network Access Control Solution (NAC) and what does it do?

A Network Access Control Solution, or NAC, is a type of network security software designed to regulate and manage access to a network. Its primary function is to ensure that only authorized users and devices can connect to the network, thereby enhancing security and protecting against unauthorized access. NAC works by enforcing predefined security policies on all connected devices, verifying their compliance with these policies, and granting or denying access accordingly. Essentially, NAC acts as a gatekeeper for your network, allowing only trusted entities to enter while keeping potential threats at bay.

How does a Network Access Control Solution work?

NAC operates based on a set of policies defined by the organization. When a device attempts to connect to the network, NAC initiates an authentication process to verify the user's identity or the device's compliance with security standards. This authentication phase may involve methods such as username/password checks, biometric scans, or device certificates. Once authenticated, the NAC system evaluates whether the device meets the organization's security requirements and grants appropriate access levels accordingly. NAC also provides granular control over access permissions, ensuring that each device receives only the necessary level of network access based on its compliance status.

What are the benefits of implementing a Network Access Control Solution?

Implementing a Network Access Control Solution offers several benefits for organizations seeking to enhance their network security. Firstly, NAC helps centralize and streamline network security management by enforcing consistent security policies across all connected devices. This simplifies the process of securing the network and reduces the need for multiple security solutions. Additionally, NAC strengthens security measures against emerging threats such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, unsecured mobile hotspots, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices by providing comprehensive endpoint protection. Moreover, NAC improves visibility into network activity and facilitates quicker detection and response to security incidents, thereby enhancing overall cybersecurity posture.

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