What is network access control?

Network access control is the act of keeping unauthorized users and devices out of a private network. Organizations that give certain devices or users from outside of the organization occasional access to the network can use network access control to ensure that these devices meet corporat

What is network access control?

Network access control is the act of keeping unauthorized users and devices out of a private network. Organizations that give certain devices or users from outside of the organization occasional access to the network can use network access control to ensure that these devices meet corporate security compliance regulations.

What is the importance of network access control?

Network access control will not work for every organization, and it is not compatible with some existing security controls. But for organizations that have the time and staff to properly implement network access controls, it can provide a much stronger and comprehensive layer of protection around valuable or sensitive assets.  

IT departments that use virtual machines as part of their data center can benefit from network access control, but only if they are vigilant about the rest of their security controls. Virtualization poses special challenges for NAC because virtual servers can move around a data center, and a dynamic virtual local area network (LAN) can change as the servers move. Not only can network access control for virtual machines open unintended security holes, it can make it challenging for organizations to adhere to data audit control standards. This is because traditional security methods locate endpoints through their IP addresses. Virtual machines are dynamic, and move from place to place, making them more complicated to secure.  

Additionally, virtual machines are also very easy and fast to spin up, meaning that inexperienced IT administrators may launch a virtual machine without all of the proper network access controls in place. Yet another vulnerability occurs when virtual machines are restored from a rest state. If new patches appeared while the server was in the rest state, they may not be applied when the machine is redeployed. An increasing number of organizations are adding application security to their network security controls to ensure that everything on their network, down to the application level, is secure. 


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