Network Access Control (NAC)
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Zero trust architectures emerged as a concept more than 10 years ago and are now even defined in cybersecurity standards. Solutions for implementing this concept are marketed as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). The predecessors of these products are known as Network Access Control (NAC). NACs are used to grant fine-grained access rights to locally hosted infrastructure.
Basically, both product categories are about identifying devices and automatically enforcing security policies to ensure that only authorized users can access the resources they need at a given time via secure endpoints. Often, a NAC is a cost-effective and pragmatic first step to increase the security level of the infrastructure.
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Good to Know
NAC is not synonymous with ZTNA
Modern NAC systems fulfill many of the requirements for a zero-trust architecture (ZTNA) when implemented across the board. However, other Zero Trust requirements cannot easily be covered with it. The boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred as many NAC providers are constantly developing their solutions in the direction of ZTNA and marketing them accordingly. Providers of NAC and ZTNA solutions are naturally to be found among the manufacturers of infrastructure components such as firewalls and content delivery networks (CDN). In addition, however, there are now many smaller and larger companies, some of which have very good offerings and numerous references.
Comparing is important
For those interested in “Secure (Access) Service Edge”, “Network/Asset Access Control” or “Zero Trust Network Access Control” solutions, the first question is how to prioritize them in comparison to other security measures. Often, other measures are easier or less expensive to implement and reduce the risk of damage from cyber-attacks to a similar extent. The target architecture must then be clarified. And finally, a structured comparison of offers based on content and commercial criteria allows a good price/performance ratio. CyberCompare helps with all these steps to make security more affordable and easier for the clientele.
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ZTNA & NAC – Tips & tricks for requirement and procurement