NAC is not just for guests anymore

* Growing use of NAC to control access of company employees connecting from outside the corporate network

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As NAC is adopted by more businesses it is increasingly being used to control access of company employees connecting from outside the corporate network, according to a Forrester Research study.

This is a shift from NAC as a way to control guest users and consultants that come into corporate sites and connect to the network, says the study, written by Forrester analyst Rob Whiteley.

The percentage of businesses that consider NAC important for guest users is 46%, while  the percentage that consider NAC important for employee access is 47%, according to a survey of 312 security technology decision makers in North America and Europe that are considering NAC. (Compare NAC products)

As in any technology decision, the big question is when does it make sense to invest in the new products. This study offers some numbers that can help nail down when there is a good business case for deploying NAC:

* First: If more than 5% of users are contractors working at corporate sites. This is a group NAC has targeted from its inception. Whiteley says the technology is valuable to help grant differing levels of access to contractors with differing skill levels and network-access needs. The example he uses is the contracted engineer vs. an intern performing data entry. The engineer clearly needs less restrictive access.

* Second: If more than 30% of users access the corporate network via public networks, NAC is worthwhile. The risk is that insecure access over these networks results in data loss that can cause damaging public disclosures about breaches, Whiteley says.

* Third: If most users connect to the corporate network via Wi-Fi, NAC is called for. NAC serves up multiple authentication and authorization tools that can reduce risk of data loss, he says.

There’s more to this report, which Forrester sells online.

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