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Top 8 Network Access Control (NAC)

Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine)Aruba ClearPassForescout PlatformFortinet FortiNACSophos Network Access Controlmacmon Network Access ControlRuckus CloudpathF5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM)
  1. leader badge
    It provides client provisions and profiling as well as guest access. I really enjoy the live log section. Sometimes, you will have someone who is having issues connecting to the network, and then you have to ask them the dreaded question of, "Did you type a password wrong?" They will probably tell you, "No," but the live log can help sort that out. It gives us that extra ability to assist the end user and make sure that we are making them happy.
  2. leader badge
    ClearPass' best features are authentication, support for multiple devices, and monitoring.The most valuable feature of Aruba ClearPass is its ease of use and the GUI is user-friendly.
  3. Buyer's Guide
    Network Access Control (NAC)
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Aruba Networks, ForeScout and others in Network Access Control (NAC). Updated: September 2022.
    635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. Forescout Platform has made it possible to block people working near our construction sites who should not have access to our network.This is clearly the best product for the NAC use cases in this field for Forescout.
  5. The most valuable feature of the solution is having visibility over the IoT devices on the network.The features are more expandable.
  6. It is intuitive in the sense that I don't have to struggle with the configuration. Sophos' technical support is great, very fast and responsive, and they always know how to fix the problem.
  7. The API is a great way to get information from other tools.
  8. report
    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Network Access Control (NAC) solutions are best for your needs.
    635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  9. Ruckus technical support is very good and helpful whenever we need them.The solution is easy to use, well designed, robust, and has good traffic capacity.
  10. F5 BIG-IP APM is relatively easy to use. The portal access was very good.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Network Access Control (NAC) questions. 635,162 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

Why do you need it in your company?

John Johny Restrepo Hernández - PeerSpot reviewer
John Johny Restrepo HernándezNAC it's particularly important for access to resources in your organization… more »
2 Answers

Network Access Control (NAC) Articles

Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Evgeny Belenky
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Apr 27 2022
Hi dear community members, Here we go again with a new bi-weekly Community Spotlight where we share with you recent contributions: articles, questions and discussions. Check them out below! Trending Cybersecurity Trends To Look Out For in 2022 Top 5 Network Access Control (NAC) Softw...
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Ravi Suvvari - PeerSpot reviewer
Ravi Suvvarivery good and valuable information
1 Comment
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netanya Carmi
Content Manager
PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Apr 10 2022
PeerSpot’s crowdsourced user review platform helps technology decision-makers around the world to better connect with peers and other independent experts who provide advice without vendor bias. Our users have ranked these solutions according to their valuable features, and discuss which features...
Read More »

Network Access Control (NAC) Topics

How does network access control work?

Network access control (NAC) solutions work by using your directory system or multi-authentication platform and enforcing security policies on every device that attempts to connect to your network.

Since NAC solutions are rule-based, you can set different access rules according to the role of the entity that tries to connect, and the NAC will enforce them. For instance, a college student would have more access to the college’s network than a guest would.

Every time an entity, device, or user wants to access your network, the NAC solution looks at the person’s role, the level of permissions, and how the device aligns with the security policies you’ve stated previously. Then it blocks or allows the connection based on the rules.

Why are NAC solutions important?

The exponential growth of mobile devices connecting to networks also exponentially increases the possible attack surface. Every connected device represents a potential entry point for an attacker. Thus, it is critical to provide visibility, access control, and compliance to the network security infrastructure.

NAC systems can block or allow access to devices that don’t comply with the security rules. They can also quarantine malicious packets and restrict access to computer resources. As such, NAC is a solution that works to prevent unauthorized access to a network.

Is network access control still relevant?

Some experts can argue that there is no longer a need for network access control when most of the applications and workloads of organizations today are in the cloud. Since most companies allow the use of personal devices for work (BYOD or “bring your own device”) and due to the widespread usage of IoT (internet of things), it may seem irrelevant to try to defend a network perimeter.

Next-generation NAC solutions address these concerns and have evolved to include hybrid cloud, distributed networks, and wireless endpoints (like IoT and BYOD). With the increasing numbers of organizations moving to the cloud, there is a need for NAC solutions that provide the visibility and accuracy necessary for the handling of complex networks.

What is wireless NAC?

Wireless network access control or 802.1X network access control is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standard for network access control that covers wired and wireless access points. This standard defines the authentication controls for users or devices that try to access a LAN (local area network) or WLAN (wide area network).

Traditional network access control doesn’t address issues caused by wireless network access, BYOD (bring your own device), and cloud computing. This expanded attack surface results in increased exposure of the perimeter to threats.

The new distributed attack surface results in an evolution of what the NAC needs to protect. Formerly, the network access control only had to monitor and protect a perimeter of connected devices. Nowadays, the NAC also needs to protect the network from wireless devices and access points. Wireless NACs do exactly that.

Network Access Control Features

Network access control solutions differ in capabilities, but here are some key features that are common to all of them:

  • Provides visibility and profiling: Profiles users and devices to prevent malicious code which may cause damage
  • Controls access for guests: Inspects and allows or blocks guests’ access. Manages guests via a self-service portal for registration and authentication.
  • Manages policy lifecycle: Enforces the policies for all scenarios.
  • Incident response: Enforces security policies, blocking, isolating, and remediating of non-compliant devices.
  • Integration: Integrates with existing security and network solutions.
  • Checks security posture: Monitors and evaluates compliance with security policies.
Network Access Control Benefits

There are three main reasons you should invest in network access control:

  • Reduces the risk of intrusions: Cyberattacks are on the rise, and any network vulnerability can be exploited by a malicious actor. Network access control reduces attacks by implementing role-based access control. RBAC is a feature that grants access according to the role of the user. NAC uses advanced authentication and authorization techniques to verify user identities.
  • Improves network performance: The role-based access control feature in NAC centralizes policy enforcement, reducing the number of SSIDs (service set identifiers). It can help you gain bandwidth since it is estimated that every SSID you reduce can give you up to 10% bandwidth back.
  • Gains network visibility: You can’t control what you don’t see. Managing access to the network requires complete visibility.

NAC helps you answer the following questions:

  • Who is trying to enter the network?
  • What is the user trying to access?
  • From where is the user or device trying to access the network?
  • When are the devices accessing the network? When are they more active and when are they less active?
  • How are the end-users accessing the network? What devices are they using?

By providing increased visibility, protection, and performance, a NAC solution can help keep devices monitored and access managed regardless of the device or user.

Buyer's Guide
Network Access Control (NAC)
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Aruba Networks, ForeScout and others in Network Access Control (NAC). Updated: September 2022.
635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.