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In this Market Insight, Frost & Sullivan examines how NAC platforms are used to control end-user network access, help with compliance, provide security, and set policy controls in different market verticals and use cases. However, before making more precise statements about how NAC platforms are designed to help specific businesses and vertical markets, discussing how NAC platforms help businesses of all types is appropriate.
Very rarely in digital communications does an existing technology experience a second act. Network access control (NAC) appliances and services are experiencing high growth rates. In the recently published report Analysis of the Global Network Access Control (NAC) Market, estimated the 2013 global NAC market to be $ million, which represented a year-over-year (YoY) growth rate of %. For 2014, Frost & Sullivan is forecasting a global NAC market of $ million, representing growth of % YoY.
Contributing to this resurgence in NAC demand is the evolving nature of networking to meet the conventions of the new work environment. Workers are no longer bound to desktop computers at an on-premises facility; increasingly, work has become modular and more mobile. A mobile workforce means that network access has to include access through wireless cellular networks and Wi-Fi; and access through cloud environments is increasing. Many companies encourage bring-yourown-device (BYOD) as a way to reduce capital expenditures.
At the heart of the matter, NAC is a foundational network security defense. As endpoints are frequently the place where network intrusions originate, NAC is the last chance to block threats before they enter the enterprise network. Reflecting the changes to network architectures, NAC vendors should be lauded for improving the fundamentals of traditional aspects of NAC platforms. Devices are easier to register onto networks; directories are easier to integrate onto RADIUS servers; and BYOD and mobile devices are easier to recognize and assign to proper networks.
NAC empowers IT administrators to define, implement, and enforce granular access policies for connecting endpoints based on user identity, role, device type, security posture, location, and other relevant factors. Therefore, NAC is not only a foundational network security technology; NAC platforms are highly flexible, versatile, and customizable.
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