The growth of remote working, BYOD, and third-party collaboration has challenged network visibility. NAC solutions can map and monitor all devices that connect to a network, including IoT devices, and provide comprehensive security policies covering all authorized users.
They can also prevent unauthorized access by tracking IP addresses previously connected to the network.
Network access control tools are designed to stop unauthorized access before it can happen. They verify the identity of users and devices on the corporate network to ensure they are authorized to connect and compliant with security policies. This prevents malicious actors from moving laterally within the network and accessing additional assets.
NAC solutions typically integrate with existing authentication systems, such as active directory servers, to authenticate user identities and determine what level of permissions each individual will have on the company network. These permissions should follow the Principle of Least Privilege (PoPL), which requires that access be restricted to only the minimum level required for an employee’s job duties.
IoT (Internet of Things) Devices: As IoT devices in Operational Technology (OT) settings grow, they can become a target for cybercriminals. NAC allows organizations to identify IoT devices on the corporate network and limit their access, reducing the risk of an attack.
Guest/Contractor Access: with BYOD policies, remote work, and the need to collaborate with partners, contractors, and guests, an organization must limit its access to critical data and resources on the corporate network. NAC enables an organization to evaluate these devices before allowing them on the network and block those already infected.
Using a device-centric approach, network access control (NAC) solutions prevent infected devices infected by malware from accessing the network and spreading the infection. The software checks that each device is up-to-date with security updates and running antivirus before granting them network access. In addition, the NAC solution can be used to monitor BYOD and IoT devices for compliance with your business policies.
NAC is also beneficial in securing remote work environments. Many employees use their devices to work from home or while on the go, and a NAC solution ensures that all devices allowed into the company’s network comply with its security policies. In addition, NAC can monitor IoT devices in healthcare settings to help protect patient data and comply with HIPAA regulations.
Once malware has compromised a device, it can spread laterally throughout the network, stealing data and causing outages. NAC solutions can quarantine infected devices on the network, minimizing their impact and allowing IT teams to focus on resolving the incident.
With so many cyber threats in the wild, it is vital to have a robust system in place to detect and respond to them. NAC solutions allow organizations to keep tabs on each device and user in real-time, providing security teams with the information they need to take quick action when a threat appears.
With cybercriminals lined up to exploit every weakness, a robust network access control system is essential. The right NAC solution can quickly and accurately spot anomalies that could indicate a device has been compromised. It can also detect and prevent devices from spreading malware across the corporate network.
This is critical for businesses dealing with sensitive information, including healthcare organizations that deal with HIPAA-regulated data and medical devices. With the emergence of IoT devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, the digital attack surface of business networks continues to expand. NAC solutions help reduce this expansion by identifying and monitoring IoT devices connecting to the enterprise network.
NAC solutions are also used to scan and verify the security posture of guest networking devices. These can include laptops brought into the workplace by contractors or guests or devices connected to the company network remotely by employees from home. Many NAC solutions can identify and authenticate these devices, check them for compliance with security policies, and isolate or quarantine non-compliant devices so that they can be repaired without compromising the rest of the organization’s systems.
NAC solutions can also integrate with other network and security tools, such as SIEM (security information and event management) systems and next-generation firewalls, to accelerate and enhance the context and utility of alerts. This can reduce the number of false positives and increase the speed and accuracy of responding to real-time threats.
NAC solutions are designed to detect unauthorized devices, users, and activities. They also offer visibility into performance, risks, and vulnerabilities. The information these systems gather can block unauthorized users and their devices, and quarantine infected devices, remediate vulnerabilities, and present compliance and security reports.
NAC technologies are increasingly important for business as threats increase in number and variety, and attackers are lined up to exploit every vulnerability they can find. As a result, the best NAC solution will allow for a defense-in-depth approach. It will prevent as many threats from accessing the network as possible by blocking them during the initial connection phase, and it will then monitor and identify any that slipped through the cracks to ensure that they aren’t allowed to spread throughout the business.
Additionally, NAC solutions are vital for the modern workplace, where remote working and Bring-Your-Own-Device practices have become commonplace. This allows for efficient collaboration between employees and third parties but can lead to security issues if the devices are not adequately vetted. NAC solutions can help protect against these problems by authenticating contractors and guests and probing their devices for malware before they are permitted to enter the network. This is critical in ensuring the devices will not threaten the organization’s data or systems.