How Network Access Control is Important for Network Security
As business networks change rapidly, new threats emerge and create unknown risks that need to be considered by network managers. With remote working as a new norm, cloud storage accounts and IoT connected endpoint devices have increased and are expected to continue increasing further. Due to these changes in the way we work, it is now more important than ever to secure network devices and implement strict access controls. This can be done by implementing Network Access Control (NAC). Let’s see what it is and why is it important for network security.
What is Network Access Control (NAC)?
NAC is a mechanism to manage access to an organization’s network resources. It allows network managers to view all users and devices and ensure security across corporate networks. Generally, it includes tools to authenticate and authorize network users to gain access to a specific resource. This capability is combined with other threat response methods such as access denial, restricted access, or quarantine.
Although standards such as WPA and IEEE 802.1X have ensured network protection since decades, NAC is one step ahead. It provides access control against constantly changing networks that are linked to cloud and IoT resources. When implemented properly, NAC allows organizations to set up relevant access policies with to the point controls and permissions. It can determine which resources a user can access and how they can move around a network. NAC systems can also monitor user devices and activity to look for threats and remove malicious actors before they cause a damage. All of this can be done without any compromise on convenience and efficiency.
Importance of Network Access Control
With the time and staff to implement network access controls, organizations can have a more comprehensive and stronger protection layer around their valuable assets. Let’s have a look at some of the ways NAC ensures network security.
Better Network Visibility
Remote work, BYOD, and IoT devices have posed many problems for network managers due to a difficulty in monitoring. NAC maps each device connected to a network and implements policies for each authorized user.
NAC provides better security against cyber threats, including DDoS attacks, malware, ransomware. This is done by excluding suspicious actors and limiting the unauthorized users to achieve access to a network.
Better Security Compliance
Security regulators have become stricter about how a company can protect its client information, particularly one which contains identifying information of personal nature, or where payments are involved. Organizations that show compliance records with security regulations have lesser risk to losses resulting from data theft and are better trusted by clients. NAC can achieve both as it follows standard security compliance procedures across network endpoints to achieve.
Instant User Profiling
When a user requests remote access to an NAC portal, the system instantly checks the user credentials. NAC software compares the data with the one held in a central resource and if a device or an individual user is unknown to the system, it excludes it from granting access.
Guest Networking Management
Guest users can also securely access a network with the help of NAC tools. This guest access is important for collaborating with contractors and partners while ensuring that security threats are avoided.
Internal Access Management
When a user gets access to a corporate network, NAC software determines the roles and permissions of the authorized user. Sensitive resources such as a client’s database can be kept off-limits and lateral movement across the networks can also be limited, thus reducing the potential danger of malware attacks.
NAC tools can also perform network management tasks such as resource allocation and load balancing. Regular monitoring of protocol is also important for updating admission and access policies, urging security teams to update their network management and access strategies.
The world is now more connected than ever. Personal and corporate data protection is now more critical. Networks are more vulnerable to attacks and managers have to meet the ever-increasing complex requirements of compliance, which is why Network Access Control is crucial for ensuring network security.