Network access control policy is a critical part of your security strategy. It prevents unauthorized devices from connecting to your network and enables you to manage privileged access for specific users.
Many organizations have a wide range of users and devices on their networks. These include a variety of third-party users, employees who bring their own devices to work, and IoT devices.
A crucial part of network access control policy is limiting users to only those resources they need to do their jobs. It can be achieved by using role-based access controls or implementing the principle of least privileges.
Role-based access control can be applied to user accounts, groups, and individual devices. It allows security administrators to determine which permissions are required for each user to perform their duties.
It can also help IT administrators ensure they provide access to the most secure network resources and prevent unauthorized access. It is essential because it can prevent employees from accessing data they shouldn’t have or working with outside business partners who could pose a security risk to the company.
In addition, NAC helps IT administrators monitor end-users behavior and detect when new devices are connecting to the network without authorization. As a result, it can provide valuable insight into the activities of unauthorized users and devices, which can help IT staff contain ransomware outbreaks or data breaches in progress.
NAC can be a powerful tool in incident response, as it allows IT professionals to rapidly change access policies on the fly when new threats or vulnerabilities appear. For example, it can help to contain a phishing attack or whaling attempt before it becomes a full-fledged cyberattack.
With the rise of cloud computing, remote workforces, bring your device (BYOD) policies, and the internet of things (IoT), network access control has become a critical part of any organization’s cybersecurity technology stack.
NAC offers the ability to inspect, analyze, and manage devices and their users to enhance security. This visibility allows organizations to inform better their endpoint security policies, incident response efforts, and other IT activities.
When a device connects to an organization’s network, it is automatically assessed by NAC to verify that it complies with security policies. NAC can identify devices that are out of compliance or may be infected with malware or other malicious code and then block them from accessing the network.
In addition, NAC can also help to limit unauthorized access by guests, partners, and contractors. It can be done by granting them limited access to corporate resources or completely blocking them from the network.
Controlling device access to network resources is done based on each device’s identity, which is stored in the device identity authentication table. This information is then referenced by security policies, which use the profile to identify the device and specify the action that should be taken on traffic that issues from it.
Most NAC implementations use pre-admission control, which applies NAC policies to devices before they are granted access to the network. However, some NAC solutions can use post-admission control, which enables you to restrict the lateral movement of a device within the network.
Network access control (NAC) policies govern access to network resources and infrastructure. These policies allow compliant, authenticated devices to access these resources and prevent unmanaged devices from accessing them. NAC can be implemented in-band, which is in line with traffic, or out-of-band, which uses a policy server outside the network.
Regardless of the implementation, NAC solutions can provide many benefits to organizations. These include preventing unauthorized devices from being brought onto the network, identifying rogue devices that may threaten the organization’s network, and identifying and taking offline or disabling devices that are no longer required to support business operations.
NAC is an essential part of any comprehensive security strategy. It enables network administrators to enforce security policies and mitigate the risk of network threats by blocking, isolating, and repairing non-compliant devices without administrator intervention.
The most effective NAC solution will have various features, including assessing endpoints for vulnerabilities and security posture, which can help administrators prioritize network access based on the highest risk threshold. It also has a robust reporting feature that provides administrators and IT teams with standardized reports that give insight into network performance, interface errors, application performance, or rogue wireless activity.
Top-notch network performance reporting is critical to optimizing your IT infrastructure and planning future technology upgrades. These pre-built and customizable reports deliver the intel you need to monitor your infrastructure, increase productivity, and improve decision-making while saving you time and money by streamlining manual operations.
Access control lists (ACLs) can grant permissions to network resources. These can include servers, drives, and firewall policies. The granularity of these ACLs depends on the type of resource.
ACLs can also specify the types of permissions that a user is granted and the levels of these permissions. Again, these can vary depending on the organization’s security policy and the IT team’s needs.
In most cases, permissions should be applied per-user basis and granted according to the principle of least privilege. It ensures that users can only access those things they need and can do their jobs.
Some organizations must limit network access to external people and devices that are not employees, such as visitors or contractors. A NAC system can be implemented to restrict these people and devices from entering the network and causing damage.
Typically, NAC solutions operate on a separate policy server that sits outside the traffic flow. These policy servers evaluate network access requests and decide whether to allow or deny traffic. For example, a NAC system might require a device to have a specific software version or update it before connecting to the network. As a result, it can prevent insecure devices from infecting the network with malware. In addition, some NAC systems may automatically respond to a threat in real-time and resolve it.