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Network Access Control (NAC) is the act of keeping unauthorized devices (and their users) out of your private network. Organizations that give certain devices unmanaged devices access to your network via network access control but only if these devices meet organizational security compliance checks. Those checks can include:
- Patch status
- AV, EDR, or anti-malware present and functioning
- Grant or deny permissions (aid with zero-trust model)
- require 2FA to pass NAC security checks
The increasingly approved use of non-company devices accessing corporate networks requires businesses to pay special attention to network security, including who and what is allowed access and to where and to what data. Network security protects the functionality of the network, ensuring that only authorized users and devices have access to it, that those devices are clean, and that the users are who they say they are.
One advantage of network access controls is that users can be required to authenticate via multi-factor authentication, which is much more secure than identifying users based on IP addresses or username and password combinations. Secure network access control also provides additional levels of protection around individual parts of the network after a user has gained access, ensuring application security. Some network access control solutions may include compatible security controls such as encryption and increased network visibility.
What does this mean for an SMB?
If an organization’s security policy allows any of the following circumstances, they need to think carefully about network access control to improve their organization’s cybersecurity:
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Any organization that allows employees to use their own devices or take corporate devices home needs to think beyond the firewall to ensure network security. Each device creates a vulnerability that could make it possible for cybercriminals to get around traditional security controls.
Network access for non-employees: Some organizations need to grant access to people or devices that are outside of the organization and not subject to the same security controls. Vendors, visitors, and contractors may all need access to the corporate network from time to time, but not to all parts of the network and not every day.
Use of IoT devices: The Internet of Things (IoT) has given rise to a proliferation of devices that may fly under the radar of traditional security controls, often residing outside of the physical corporate building, but still connected to the corporate network. Cybercriminals can easily exploit these overlooked devices to find their way into the heart of the network without adequate network access controls. Network access control is an important aspect of edge security solutions.
Additional Cybersecurity Recommendations
Additionally, these recommendations below will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.
- Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
- Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
- Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
- Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
- In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections, etc) or prohibiting their use entirely.
- If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
- Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.
All of these recommendations are built into CyberHoot the product or CyberHoot’s vCISO Services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit CyberHoot.com and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.
To learn more about Network Access Control, watch this short 4-minute video:
CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like:
- Cybrary (Cyber Library)
- Press Releases
- Instructional Videos (HowTo) – very helpful for our SuperUsers!
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