What NAC users want

* NAC users mainly seek to control user access

About half of NAC users want the technology for controlling user access to networks, while only a third want it to address network-security compliance, according to a survey sponsored by NAC vendor Nevis Networks.

According to results from 450 users, 53% want NAC to control remote-user access, and 48% each want it to control access by managed and unmanaged users, the survey says. Of the group, 33% say they want NAC to address network security compliance - one of the main functions of NAC.

Respondents were asked to pick their reasons from among nine choices, and could pick more than one. The other options were to protect critical assets, IP-connected devices and wireless devices; address regulatory requirements and reduce the cost of security incidents.

The way the survey worked, 65,000 recipients of eMedia security and networking newsletters were asked to fill out the questionnaire and the first 450 who presented valid corporate e-mail addresses were counted.

Forty four percent of the respondents say that endpoint-compliance checking is either of top importance or is very important. More important, however were network authentication (62%) and identity-based access control (59%), the survey says.

Very few of those polled - just 3% - consider NAC their primary method to control user access to network resources, which is something NAC can do, but often in conjunction with other technologies. The most popular primary method is access rights set by RADIUS or directories (31%), followed by VPNs (21%), data center firewalls (16%) and VLANs (9%). The questionnaire listed eight possible responses plus “other.”

A majority of those who responded, 58%, say they lack the ability to determine at any given moment, which users are accessing what network resources. This is a feature of some NAC gear.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.