Trends Report

Market Overview: Network Access Control (NAC)

Evolving NAC Market Focuses On Features That Provide Operational Efficiency

November 3rd, 2009
With contributors:
Margaret Ryan , Robert Whiteley III

Summary

Network access control (NAC) is high on the security professionals' wish list, but few are able to justify the business case for it. Complex deployments, too many architectural options, and a quickly changing vendor landscape have pushed most NAC deployments further down the project list. We recently surveyed the NAC vendor landscape and found there are still a lot of vendors, but things are beginning to change. The market segments into four high-level categories: appliance, software, infrastructure, and specialized providers. Of the 18 vendors we spoke with across these categories, all support the basic features — like pre- and post-admission control, automated remediation, and guest access — but the leading vendors are embracing new features that focus on the intersection of security and IT automation. Infrastructure vendors currently lead the market, but appliance and software vendors are quickly gaining momentum based on unique scenarios they can address. Expect NAC to drive your access control strategy and to focus on elements that alleviate operational inefficiency.

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