What is NAC in Network Security?

Network access control (NAC) is a security technology that controls and manages access to network resources. It helps organizations ensure that only authorized and compliant devices and users can connect to their private networks.

Enterprises can use NAC solutions in various network environments, including wired and wireless networks, remote access, and cloud-based services. They are often used in conjunction with other network security technologies, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions.

Capabilities of Network Access Control Solutions

NAC solutions generally offer the following capabilities:

  • Policy enforcement: NAC tools can enforce policies that define what resources a user or device can access once they are authenticated. This helps ensure that authorized users only have access to the resources they need to perform their job functions.
  • Endpoint security: NAC can assess the security posture of assets connecting to the network, such as checking for up-to-date antivirus software, patch levels, and operating system versions.
  • Guest access: Network access control can provide secure guest access, allowing visitors and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users to connect to resources without compromising security. Guests can be granted limited access and isolated from the rest of the network to ensure they cannot access sensitive data or resources.
  • Compliance: NAC solutions can help organizations comply with regulations and security policies by enforcing access controls and monitoring network activity. Unauthorized or non-compliant devices and users are prevented from accessing the corporate network and reports on device posture can be used for audit purposes.
  • Remediation: NAC tools can quarantine or remediate assets that do not meet security policy requirements, such as installing the latest security patches or updating software.
  • Network segmentation: NAC can enforce access policies that limit user and device access to specific network parts, such as by creating virtual LANs (VLANs) or network segments. Network segmentation cybersecurity can help prevent the spread of malware or other threats to other parts of the network in the event of a breach.

Why Network Access Control (NAC) Alone Isn’t Enough

NAC systems can often be complex to deploy and provide poor visibility into unmanaged assets, specifically medical, Internet of Things (IoT), and operational technology (OT). NAC is also blind to many devices connected through wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth, which are now ubiquitous in enterprise networks. Finally, NAC solutions provide limited risk assessment or threat detection. While the advantages of network segmentation are obvious, threat actors can still compromise these segments and move laterally within a system.

Discover how Armis Centrix™ helps you improve incident response and overcome these limitations of NAC solutionss.

Using Armis with NAC for complete visibility

Armis Centrix™ for Asset Management and Security detects and monitors all devices on your network. By integrating with your NAC tools, Armis provides a comprehensive asset inventory and real-time knowledge of threats and risks, allowing your NAC system to quickly quarantine malicious devices from the network.

Get the peace of mind you deserve with Armis. Book a demo now.