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Network Access Control

What is a Network Access Control System?

As organizations continue to adopt IoT technology, ensuring secure access to a private network becomes particularly difficult. Network access control systems, however, protect network data by requiring user authentication and authorization before every request.

These systems also proactively address security breaches, though many also integrate with anti-virus or malware systems that organizations already use.

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Why Is It Important to Have a Good Network Access Control System?

Some organizations can get by on more traditional security systems, but especially in these days when remote access to networks have become mandatory, cybersecurity must be able to process requests from remote users. Many services (like healthcare) must also allow network access to users with personal devices.

What Internal Data Should I Have for a Good Network Access Control System?

Companies using network access control systems must verify their employees, partners, and devices. They should also establish role-based access privileges: for example, customer service supervisors should have access to phone call recordings but PPC managers should not. Most access control systems operate on the principle of only allowing access to network systems that are absolutely necessary for a role.

Other organizations, like healthcare services, could designate patients as users with few access privileges and enable multi-factor security measures at every stage of network access. The systems should also allow patients the option of input their devices into the system to ensure faster access to their data.

What External Data Is Essential for a Good Network Access System?

In addition to cybersecurity news and updates to the system, a well-functioning network should always run seamlessly with the host. Some network access systems, for example, are designed to run on cloud infrastructure while others were not.

What External Data May Prove Useful for a Good Network Access System?

Additionally, depending on an organization’s needs—and, usually, their size—integrations with other cybersecurity platforms may be important. Some organizations already have virus protection and want to continue to work with that provider, for example, and only need network access controls for devices, with less aggressive anti-virus capabilities.

What Are the Main Challenges of this Use Case?

The main challenge of network access controls systems is the up-front expense—not just financially but also in terms of time. IT departments must log all users and devices and grant specific permissions. Even permissions granted on a role-based system can be time-consuming. However, the results make the effort worth it in the end.

Additionally, incorporating older devices can be difficult as their security capabilities lag behind those of modern devices. Essentially, these can be vulnerable points in the security system that must simply be worked around.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Varonis: What Is Network Access Control? Solutions and Explanations
Infosecurity Magazine: “What About Cybersecurity?” Best Practices for Secure IIoT Wireless Sensor Deployment

Tangible Examples of Impact

“Organizations must adapt to the evolving threat landscape with a more vigilant security approach to stay ahead of the attack curve. Network Access Control (NAC) solutions give organizations complete control over which network access privileges are assigned to each user or role. NAC enables Zero Trust access controls to limit an organization’s risk… in addition to essential features such as endpoint and user visibility and automated threat mitigation.”

Digital Journal: Lessons are still to be learned from recent cybersecurity cases

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