Gartner’s Market Guide for Network Access Control helps security and IT leaders better understand the top NAC solutions available to them. To further inform your own NAC initiatives, the security experts at ADAPTURE review Gartner’s industry findings and discuss the reasons behind the continued success of one of the NAC Magic Quadrant “Leaders”—Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE).

As an enterprise IT leader, you recognize your need for a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure.

In a similar way, to augment their security postures, risk management and security teams around the world have begun re-focusing resources and expertise on architecting for network visibility and real-time control—a problem that many companies solve through Network Access Control (NAC).

What is Network Access Control?

NAC facilitates network visibility as well as restricts and defines device and end-user access across all endpoints on corporate networks. This network visibility solution enables you to keep tabs on user activity and sandbox malicious activity quickly through:

  • Policy Life Cycle Management
  • Security Posture Checks
  • Access Control
  • Guest Networking Service
  • Profiling and Visibility
  • Bidirectional Integration

Network Access Control Market Analysis

While the information security market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8%, the NAC market has already grown by 26% from 2015 to 2016 with a recently-estimated market size of $685 million. A great deal of this sudden growth is due to NAC solutions eliminating unnecessary security risks by improving visibility, creating security policies for individual access, and providing real-time traffic metrics across a company’s networks and infrastructure.

Gartner’s Market Guide for Network Access Control Findings and Direction

The NAC market continues to grow in response to a broad variation in threat vectors.

NAC solutions enable companies to quickly respond to audit findings, manage guest/contractor access, and improve incident response. IoT devices continue to be a growing threat. However, NAC enables companies to regulate the use and network activity of IoT devices more closely—mitigating the threat by filtering the network traffic of the attached devices through granular policy management.

Many of the NAC devices can enable a stronger security posture in these areas, but as Gartner’s analysis has proven over the years, one provider stands above the rest.

Cisco Identity Services Engine Remains a Leader in Gartner’s Market Guide for Network Access Control

According to Gartner’s report, Cisco remains one of the top three vendors for the NAC market share.

Trusted by more than 60% of Fortune 500 companies, Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) continues to be a leader in the NAC market—having been consistently highlighted in Gartner’s NAC Magic Quadrant reports for the past eleven years. Cisco ISE is both RADIUS-based and (TACACS+)-based, meaning it supports authentication and device administration in heterogeneous network infrastructure.

How ISE Sets the Standard for Network Access Control

More specifically, Cisco ISE prepares companies to better handle security threats by providing full visibility for all devices and users accessing their networks.

This centralized security solution automates context-aware access to network resources while sharing contextual data and actionable insights with security and mitigation teams. With Cisco ISE, companies can now control all network access from one centralized hub. By enabling network engineers to define and apply the right access policies to the right devices and users, Cisco ISE saves companies time while reducing risk by thwarting unwanted access (from malicious end-users and unprotected or compromised devices).

Cisco ISE also empowers companies to take advantage of the latest rapid threat containment capabilities. The ISE NAC solution features the Cisco Firepower Management Center (FMC) and Identity Service Engine integration. Cisco FMC integrates seamlessly with ISE, enabling companies to automatically address suspicious network activity as it occurs in real-time. FMC responds to cybersecurity threats by enforcing pre-defined segmentation policies that isolate and prevent threats from spreading across networks.

One of the strengths of Cisco ISE is its ability to integrate with your environments’ existing security solutions. ISE works seamlessly with both Cisco security products and third-party technologies to determine alerts and share contextual information within your networks.

Your Security Burden Made Lighter with Cisco ISE

For day-to-day operations, you’re probably supporting and protecting thousands of endpoints in an increasingly complex environment. Between guests, network audits, and the growth of IoT devices, a premium has been placed on visibility in your network.

How well you respond is up to you.