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Network Access Control – your network’s brain

Network Access Control (NAC) is nothing new. IoT, the increase in mobile devices and WLAN significantly increase the requirements for network security, however. Secure access no longer needs ensuring just internally – and increasingly wirelessly – but also from external devices. Previous solutions no longer meet today’s more complex requirements making them an easy target for cyber attacks. Find out what this means for your network and what solutions you should adopt in this blog post.

NAC in the past...

The importance of a secure and practical Network Access Control (NAC) has not been recognised until now. The central control of network access is an ongoing topic for every company. The focus here has long since been on internal access, however – wired and wireless. In addition, protection in unmonitored rooms such as conference rooms was not covered by previous solutions, or at least not to any great extent. Effective protection against external access, predominantly via mobile devices, was always a subject somewhat difficult to tackle, however. The productivity of many employees is hindered by poorly functioning network access, particularly from externally. Even third-party individuals within the company represent a risk, which is why effective guest management is a key issue and expected by clients. Up to now, authentication has been by means of distinguishing between known and third-party devices using their MAC addresses. The problem with this is: these are relatively easy to duplicate. 

...and today

New factors are constantly being added and reinforcing the need for a modern NAC solution. This is the only way to seamlessly ensure the security of your network. The number and variety of devices available to users are growing resulting in the need for consistent guidelines to be implemented. To make matters worse, most devices have different security requirements. Hackers are also aware of this and exploit these weaknesses in a more and more targeted way. Employee mobility is increasingly important however and only a properly functioning and secure network access enables efficient work.

How thoroughly have you dealt with guest management up to now? The subject is still underrated in many companies. The risks from external devices are much more diverse than many, however: 

  • the infiltration of malware, viruses and spyware
  • the infiltration of malware, viruses and spyware
  • data theft
  • xternal devices without the latest patches, and so not tested, can create vulnerabilities within the company because they do not comply with the company’s security standard.

Guest management must offer the maximum possible protection for proprietary information with the minimum access necessary. It should also be simple to handle for users and administrators. Customer satisfaction and productivity can be significantly increased through good guest management – an added benefit for both sides as this, in turn, contributes towards greater customer loyalty. And ultimately, that is just what we want! 

The IoT and BYOD solutions (bring your own device) are laying down unprecedented requirements that have been given very little consideration before now. They have huge potential of course but also represent vulnerabilities that you should definitely keep an eye on! On the one hand, administrators have to manage the network access required for them and, on the other, handle the increasingly large data volumes – all without any impact on security and functionality. Regardless of the devices or access methods used, modern NAC solutions need to enable the standardisation of security and access guidelines. Simple, effective solutions are therefore needed!

The benefits of new NAC solutions – and which one you should choose

Modernising your Network Access Control provides countless additional benefits. Networks are managed centrally and in a user-friendly manner – intentionally or not – harmful attacks are prevented. From linking information within the network to making it available for further use, modern solutions really are the brain of your network. And this is precisely where “ClearPass” from our partner Aruba Networks, a leading provider of next generation network access solutions, comes in. With ClearPass, Aruba has expanded its portfolio to include another innovative solution which makes NAC more effective than ever. How it differs from previous solutions:

  • Definition and implementation of guidelines for applications and devices within the entire network
  • Simplified control of mobility services
  • Maximum protection for your devices, BYOD solutions and IoT components
  • Wireless integration in environments with components from various providers
  • Guest management that meets today’s security standards and is user friendly for administrators and guests, for example, thanks to individual setup of the login portal
  • Evaluations of endpoints

 

You see: Switching over offers benefits that are not to be dismissed. The costs of this are comparatively low and justify the resources to be assigned. Looking into this as early as possible is recommended. After all, sooner or later the change will be necessary for all companies – even yours!

Would you like to find out more about ClearPass and about the business benefits of network security in general? We provide you with a whitepaper from Aruba, free of charge, on the subject of “The business benefits of protection and the authentication of users of wireless and wired network security”. You will receive all the key information about the latest trends in NAC and further information about ClearPass. Click here to download:

Download Whitepaper Aruba 

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Cyber Security , Iot Security , Network Security

Michelle Gehri
About the author / Michelle Gehri

InfoGuard AG - Michelle Gehri, Marketing & Communication Manager

More articles from Michelle Gehri


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