Network Access Control

What is Network Access Control?

Network Access Control (NAC) is a security protocol that restricts unauthorized users and devices from gaining access to corporate or private networks. It is a critical component of network security infrastructure, providing visibility, authentication, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users and devices can connect to the network.

By implementing NAC solutions, organizations can prevent unauthorized access, mitigate security risks, and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.

Types of Network Access Control

There are primarily two kinds of network access control:


This type of Network Access Control occurs before users are granted access. Any user who wants to access the network needs to make a request and can only enter once their credentials are verified.

Pre-admission network control is safe since it provides access only to devices and users that can be authenticated.


Post-admission Network Access Control grants authorization to devices or users who enter a new or different area of the network to which they have not been granted access. To get authorization, the user or device must verify their identity again.

Components of Network Access Control

Network Access Control (NAC) solutions consist of several vital components that work together to enforce access policies and secure network resources. These include:

  • Policy Server that defines and manages access control policies, storing rules for user and device access. It evaluates connection requests against these policies to allow or deny access.
  • Authentication Server verifies user and device identities using passwords or certificates, ensuring only authorized access.
  • Access Control Enforcement Points (ACEPs) are deployed at strategic points within the network infrastructure to intercept connection requests from users and devices, enforcing access policies by permutation or blocking networks that try to access points beyond their limit.
  • Network Visibility & Monitoring Tools that monitor network connections and generate logs, alerts, and reports to help administrators identify and respond to security incidents and compliance issues effectively.
  • Integration Interfaces enable NAC solutions to work with existing network infrastructure and security systems, enhancing overall security.

Advantages of Network Access Control

Network Access Control (NAC) solutions offer several advantages for organizations seeking to enhance their network security posture and enforce access control policies effectively. Some of these advantages include:

1. Improved Security Posture

NAC solutions help organizations improve security by enforcing strict access control policies and authentication mechanisms. It mitigates the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

2. Enhanced Compliance

Network Access Controls assist organizations in maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. By enforcing access control policies, NAC solutions help organizations demonstrate adherence to data protection regulations and security best practices.

3. Reduced Risk of Security Incidents

NAC solutions can detect and respond to security threats by continuously monitoring network traffic and device activity in real-time. This proactive approach reduces the risk of security incidents, such as malware infections, data breaches, and insider threats, by identifying and mitigating potential risks before they escalate.

4. Granular Access Control

NAC solutions provide granular access control capabilities, allowing organizations to define access policies based on user roles, device types, and security posture.

5. Improved Visibility and Monitoring

NAC solutions offer enhanced visibility into network traffic and device activity, providing administrators with real-time insights into network behavior. By monitoring user sessions, device connections, and application usage, NAC solutions help organizations promptly identify anomalous behavior and potential security threats.

6. Streamlined Network Management

With centralized policy management and enforcement capabilities, NAC solutions streamline network management processes. Administrators can easily define, deploy, and update access control policies across the network, reducing the complexity of managing heterogeneous network environments.

Leverage the Power of AI-driven Network Automation Tools

To automate the process of network monitoring and managing access controls, you can use a reliable and secure AI-driven Network Automation Tool. It allows organizations to visualize end-to-end network configuration management, enabling them to perform actions such as:

Automatically deploy configurations and reports and detect out-of-process changes, audits, and backups.

Configure the system administrator to raise alerts anytime a problem is detected or a change is made in device configuration.

Configure audit logs and leverage role-based access for complete control of who can make changes to devices and configurations.

Compliance with critical security standards using OOB reports for FISMA, PCI DSS, and more.