Learn how to choose NAC services

Figure out the right questions to ask your network access control (NAC) service provider or vendor.

NAC Services
Verizon Business
Price: Based on size and type of engagement

Network access control adoption is growing--an Infonetics report earlier this year reported 16 percent growth over Q1 2007. But even in a consolidating market, choosing the best technology for your organization is no simple matter.

    You have to ask:
    • Do you choose an inline appliance, or out-of-band or switch-based product?


    • What type of enforcement will you employ?


    • Do you require post-connect as well as pre-connect device assessment?


    • Are the benefits of NAC to your company even worth the investment and the difficulties of deploying and maintaining NAC in your network?

Verizon Business has announced dedicated professional services to NAC, but a managed service is another matter.

"There are too many options; it's too complicated, it's too deep, it's too broad," says Omar Khawaja, Verizon manager of security solutions marketing. "NAC is more about integration, what a NAC solution has to complement, and less about installation."

The exception is Cisco's NAC appliance, offered as a managed service.

Services are vendor neutral, supporting most of the leading NAC solutions. Depending on the engagement, Verizon will start with an assessment and develop a strategic plan for its customers before implementation.

"The problem is customers not even knowing what NAC can do for their particular environment," says Khawaja. "Do they want to use NAC for guest access, for wireless access or for remote access, unmanaged device access, or for corporate LAN access?"

--NEIL ROITER

This was first published in October 2008

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