CAMPBELL, Calif. -- In a new study on network access control (NAC), analyst firm Infonetics Research found that 80% of the large organizations it interviewed plan to enforce NAC in the network, and 51% plan to enforce at the client (some do both).
The study, "User Plans for Network Access Control: North America 2007, " shows that other than the enforcement location, users are still fairly confused about NAC overall, and unsure exactly how they will handle many aspects of NAC deployment.
"One of the major problems with the NAC market right now is that there isn't consensus on what NAC really is. Since the application of NAC is broad, almost any company who was involved in security or network infrastructure didn't have to stretch very far to label some existing product or technology 'NAC.' Customers investigating NAC are likely to look at everything from host-based software solutions to entire forklift upgrades of Ethernet switching infrastructure and more than a few steps in between," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.
The study includes a NAC product manufacturer scorecard rating Cisco, Consentry, Juniper, F5, McAfee, and Microsoft. According to the user- rated scorecard, Cisco leads in overall vendor perception, but they are matched very closely by a variety of vendors for different criteria. For example, Microsoft actually tops Cisco's score for financial stability, and they both show equally poorly when it comes to pricing. However, Cisco has a strong lead on Microsoft when it comes to user perception of their technology, security, and service and support.