Network access control: A broad definition

Andrew Braunberg, Senior Analyst, Current Analysis

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What are you selling your customers when pitching a network access control product? Moreover, how do you compare NAC solutions to determine which vendor you want to partner with? There are no easy answers when the technology continually evolves. In this article Current Analysis Senior Analyst Andrew Braunberg explores the value in expanding NAC's repertoire.


Defending an expansive definition of NAC

There is a good bit of controversy these days about what constitutes a "complete" network access control (NAC) solution. The original vision of NAC (e.g., host-posture checking, quarantine and remediation) has been expanding considerably. Network architecture and network operations managers are no doubt beginning to wonder if the term has become so misused as to lose any real meaning.

A complete NAC solution should include the following capabilities: host- posture checking; quarantine and remediation; identity-aware and policy-based authentication and resource access control; and post-admission threat protection, quarantine and remediation.

Hear more about the defining of network access control as a term and as an industy.

About the author:
As a Senior Analyst in the Information Security module at Current Analysis, Andrew Braunberg's main responsibility is tracking the identity management and security management market segments. Prior to joining Current Analysis, Andrew was a journalist covering information technology in the defense and telecommunications sectors. Andrew holds an M.A. from George Washington University in Science, Technology and Public Policy and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This was first published in October 2006

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