Palo Alto, Calif.
Network access control (NAC) technologies, a combination of network infrastructure components and security products, are set to become an extension of the network. As common misperceptions are dispelled and NAC gains acceptance as a key part of network security, these technologies become the center of a highly competitive and lucrative market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “World Network Access Control Technologies Markets,” finds that the appliance market earned revenues of more than $114 million in 2007 and estimates this will reach $692.6 million in 2014.
In recent years, the security community has identified a shift away from attacks done as a show of hacking prowess to much more criminal activities. “Compromised endpoints represent the biggest threat to sensitive network systems and protecting these has long been the primary goal for network administrators,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Chris Rodriguez. “There are many endpoint security products available, and as a solution, that ties many of these together. NAC will soon become an integral tool for network administrators.”
In spite of the presence of established network security companies and the departure of others, NAC has made its mark in the market to such an extent that more participants have entered the NAC space. In the near future, this growth phase of the market will get a strong boost from the entry of major participants.
Moreover, heavy media publicity over many high-profile security breaches increases demand for security products as a whole. NAC technologies benefit from this, as they offer apt solutions to the problems, such as malware outbreaks, highlighted by the media. The Computer Security Institute (CSI)/FBI also released a study that assigned dollar values to the financial losses caused by attacks on corporate networks. These real -world examples have been instrumental in building a business case for network security products, including NAC solutions in particular.
In addition, the growing number of remote workers and contractors and use of laptops and smart phones pose a serious threat to a company's sensitive data and crucial systems. “These devices are weak links in the network's security perimeter, as they can be off the network for extended periods and come back out of compliance,” said Rodriguez. “Smart phones and other mobile devices form another point of entry into the network.”
As such, companies will have to find a way to control network access. This is where NAC technologies offer an advantage over other security applications. NAC has proved its worth as an enterprise security product that can effectively enforce security policies. Now that many third-party product evaluations and customer reviews are available, customers can make well-informed decisions and purchase a superior NAC product. This also expects to help drive the market.