Network Access Control, or NAC, solutions enhance network security by reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access and mitigating several threats and vulnerabilities. With a NAC, you can define and implement security policies that allow client machines access to network resources only when certain conditions are met.
NAC goes beyond the typical authentication and access control process. For example, in addition to checking login credentials and a client’s identity, a pre-admission NAC can inspect the client machine’s antivirus protection, system update status, and other relevant configurations. If, after inspection, the NAC system finds the security posture of the client too much of a risk, it will promptly deny access.
A post-admission NAC, on the other hand, monitors a user’s behaviors and determines whether that user’s actions can potentially pose a security risk. If a possible risk is detected, then that user is either quarantined or completely shut down. These countermeasures prevent worms, viruses, and malicious individuals from causing any harm.
While a NAC offers huge benefits from an enterprise security standpoint, deploying a NAC can be very challenging. It requires additional network resources and a high level of expertise. A poorly designed network can suffer serious performance degradation.