Network access control (NAC) is a cybersecurity policy and technology that restricts what a specific device can do on an organization’s network. NAC limits network resources to devices, based on security rules, helping to prevent unauthorized access and protecting systems and data.
Terms related to Network Access Control: Endpoint security, mobile device access, network access server.
Network access control can apply to any device that connects to a network, including smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, Internet of Things devices, or other devices allowed through a “Bring Your Own Device” program.
When a specific device tries to access an organization’s network, a Network Access Server authenticates the device and the user through a combination of security protocols, authorized logins, and other authentication data. Network access control then restricts what that device and user can access, based on security settings and business rules. These policies define exactly what a user can do on the network.
NAC can also insist that certain cybersecurity approaches are deployed onto the remote device or to any data transmitted between the device and the network. This might include firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and malware detection. NAC can implement rules based on specific employees, their roles (role-based access), devices, location, and more. This can limit access to particularly sensitive systems or information.