February 21, 2011

Tackling the Top Five Network Access Control Challenges

Numerous factors are driving enterprises to control who's admitted to the corporate network and what resources--servers, applications, stored data--they're allowed to access.

Business trends such as mobility, outsourcing and the blurring of corporate network boundaries mean enterprises must provide network and application access to company "insiders" such as employees as well as "outsiders" that include guest users, partners and contractors. IT must open the network to a dynamic workforce, while at the same time protecting critical assets from the vulnerabilities that openness and user mobility bring. In addition, to comply with industry and governmental regulations, enterprises must prove that they have stringent controls in place to restrict access to credit card information, patient health records and other sensitive data.

Technology trends--particularly the move to converge multiple services onto a single IP infrastructure--are also driving the need for network access control. The adoption of IP-based telephony (IPT), videoconferencing and other video services spurred initial deployments of converged networks; emerging unified communications services and applications are helping to drive the next wave of deployments. At the same time, enterprises are connecting everything from security cameras, badge readers, industrial robots, bar code readers, building automation systems and even vending machines to the corporate network. This proliferation of devices and traffic types can pose severe network resource consumption and security challenges.

In this document we explore five common networking challenges that enterprises face--network protection, guest user access, network visibility and monitoring, application access control, and identity-based Quality of Service (QoS)--and discuss how each can be addressed.

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1 Comment

This is an excellent paper that addresses several challenges in controlling who can access which parts of the network with which applications and with which priorities.

A superb technical resource and benchmark, regardless or your exact choice of supplier(s).

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