February 21, 2024
#Tech

Why Is Network Access Important?

With Bring Your Device (BYOD) policies, personal devices that double as professional tools, and the proliferation of IoT-connected devices, network access control is more important than ever.

Network access control, also known as network admission control, bolsters the security of proprietary networks by granting entry to users and devices that comply with security policy.

Restrict Unauthorized Access

What is network access? Unauthorized access is a massive problem for businesses. Cybercriminals, hackers, and data thieves can all exploit loopholes in password protection or other security measures. Network access control ensures that these threats can’t gain entry to systems and data by keeping them out of networks.

NAC solutions also help keep unauthorized users out of networks, even when authorized to be there. This is especially important for organizations with employees working remotely or on their own devices in the office. It’s essential to have a way to monitor and manage these devices without compromising security.

When a user or device connects to the network, NAC can authenticate and profile that person or device. It can also inspect the machine and assess its security posture to decide whether or not it should be allowed to enter the network. This pre-admission type of network access control is a critical element of adequate network security, which helps to prevent unauthorized access incidents before they happen.

Another great benefit of this access control is its ability to grant limited access to non-employees, such as contractors or guests. NAC can be set up to let them connect to internet services but not the internal networks or systems. This means you can give these people a smoother IT experience while maintaining the necessary level of security for your network.

Protect Data

Just as door locks and security badges keep unauthorized people out of organizational resources like buildings and offices, network access control keeps unwanted cybercriminals, hackers, and data thieves out of the digital world of corporate information and assets. NAC solutions are gatekeepers that authenticate users, assess devices, and limit the areas they can enter based on IT policies.

NAC is often combined with Zero Trust security to provide a more robust layer of protection for the corporate network. Zero Trust security is a pre-admission system that evaluates endpoint devices to ensure they comply with corporate security policies before being allowed entry. NAC adds a post-admission element that provides an additional layer of defense that stops attackers once they’re inside the network by requiring them to authenticate each time they want to move between zones.

This is particularly important as more employees use remote work or BYOD to connect to the network on laptops, tablets, and IoT devices. NAC solutions that can profile and secure connectivity of various devices, including cellular-connected IoT sensors, help CISOs manage this trend without compromising the employee experience or the organization’s data security. In addition, some NAC systems can detect when a device has been compromised and automatically restrict access to prevent the spread of an attack.

Reduce Costs

Many organizations overlook the total cost of network access. In addition to the initial hardware costs, ongoing costs are associated with the infrastructure’s management and upkeep. These additional expenses can add up quickly and should be considered when comparing solutions.

For example, network managers must troubleshoot a problem or respond to an alert. A solution that consolidates monitoring and security onto a single platform can reduce the amount of time spent managing different tools. As a result, the TCO of network access may be significantly lower.

In a world increasingly dependent on cloud-based applications, it’s important to consider network access when selecting the best tools. Choosing the right network solutions can help businesses be more competitive and improve employee and customer performance.

For example, a NAC solution can allow an organization to restrict unauthorized access to its networks by authenticating users and devices. This can be helpful for work-from-home policies and BYOD (bring your device) initiatives, as it will prevent untrusted devices from connecting to a private network. Similarly, NAC can also help to manage and control traffic across a distributed WAN by providing granular visibility into application usage and bandwidth needs. This can help an IT team to prioritize critical apps and to allocate bandwidth based on business needs.

Increase Efficiency

With remote working and Bring Your Device policies becoming the norm, it’s essential to have robust network access control. Many organizations have different devices connecting to the business, from laptops and smartphones to tablets, IoTs, and more. NAC allows admins to define and apply rules for each device to gain access to the business network, protecting against threats.

NAC solutions provide pre-admission endpoint security checks, identifying and categorizing devices as they connect to the business network. These policies can then allow or deny access to the web-based on their status and what they’re attempting to do. For example, guests and contractors might need access to the business network to update software but shouldn’t have complete or unrestricted access to sensitive data. NAC can also help to restrict lateral movement within the network, preventing employees from downloading malware on one device and using it to spread infections to others.

NAC can also monitor how users and IoT devices interact with the network, giving businesses insights into how they can improve their efficiency. For example, by implementing role-specific bandwidth contracts, admins can prioritize certain users over other types of traffic (like video streaming or social media), reducing costs and improving performance. This helps the organization avoid overspending and limiting the effectiveness of its employees.

Why Is Network Access Important?

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