The Ins and Outs of Network Access Control

By Angela Hwang
December 3, 2019

What is Network Access Control?

Network access control is a security procedure that allows organizations to restrict unauthorized access to their resources by end-users. Typically, large organizations such as banks, university campuses, and schools are regularly vulnerable to security threats. This can be attributed to the high amount of traffics from employees, third-party persons (visitors, customers, consultants, clients, partners, and so forth), and the need for numerous access points.

Network access control is used to safeguard a proprietary network and its user’s data and in-house resources. Normally, an IT administrator will devise a security policy to limit access and availability of network resources to the end-users’ devices. Industry leaders are using the Internet of Things (IoT) and BYOD (bring your own device) approach on large scales to enhance the user experience and provide more regulated and secure network access to end-users.

Features of Network Access Control

Some features of network access control include:

Security Check

Network Access management usually includes devising a network policy that assesses and authenticates endpoint devices by verifying login information. The endpoint device (or end-user) is assessed to ensure they conform to the security policy and are not a threat.

Profiling

End-users and their device type are scanned and profiled to ensure they are not potential threats to the network resources.

Centralized Control Access

Monitoring and authentication of endpoint users and device types is no longer done from multiple points of contact. Individual users and guests are now monitored and granted access from a single and centralized security management system using an NAC (network access control) device.

Bidirectional Integration

With the open/RESTful API, network access control integrates other network and security solutions into the security policy.

Profile Connectivity Views

The types of devices that are used to access the organization's wired or wireless network are viewed by the system. Where they are connecting from and the information of each device is pooled to help inform network security in the future.

Device Registration

It is not possible for organizations to verify and register each device that is used on their network. There is a wide range of end-user devices such as iOS and Android devices, Netbook, etc.., that need to be registered. The network is fashioned in a manner that allows self-registration for each of the devices.=

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Importance of Network Access Control

Improved Security

Security is maximized when protocols are set up to authenticate end-users and mobile devices to improve their visibility within the system.. Malware threats and unauthorized access are more easily monitored and regulated from a central management center.

Saves Costs

For large organizations, their network resources are regularly under threat of invasion from  malware and unauthorized third persons. Data loss can cost companies millions of dollars along with a tarnished reputation. To avoid falling victim to these potential liabilities, a higher level of security can be established with network access control to provide a safer network for all stakeholders.

Automation

In the absence of network access control, mobile devices and end-users are manually assessed and verified to ensure that they meet the security policy requirements. Able to handle numerous endpoint devices making efforts to connect to the network, network access control automates this process, creating faster processing times.

Enhanced IT Experiences

Network access control safeguards network resources from unauthorized access. This goes a long way in improving the user experience of end-users. It restores their confidence in accessing an organization’s network that is NAC enabled. This also means less work for IT administrators.

Ease of Control

Network access control gives an organization an edge to determine what device or user accesses their network. Also, the limit they can reach is regulated. This effectively protects network resources from infiltration by unauthorized persons.

As an organization grows,  it naturally faces greater exposure to security breaches into its network and other resources. This growth involves an increase in the number of endpoint devices trying to get on the organization's network by employees, business partners, visitors, third-party suppliers, etc... Network access control hinders any negative effect this might pose on the organization by fortifying its network security.

Angela Hwang

Angela is an account executive at Kisi. In her free time she likes coordinating twin outfits with her co-workers.

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