Network access control (NAC)

Network Access Control (NAC) is an approach to computer security that attempts to unify endpoint security technology (such as antivirus, host intrusion prevention, and vulnerability assessment), user or system authentication and network security enforcement.

NAC systems are put into place to make sure that anyone who enters the system, both in terms of users and devices, is authorized. After being routed the efforts at connection, the network access control system confirms privileges using an identity and access management (IAM). With the information from the IAM, along with a pre-established list of rules, the NAC software is able to smartly accept or deny access requests.

Fortunately, NAC products are designed to handle large enterprise networks that have a range of device types trying to connect at all times. Without a NAC in place, companies take on a huge amount of risk by adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, which allows employees and vendors to use their own smartphones and tablets on the local network. Network access control software and hardware require an upfront investment but prove their worth in the long run.