Network Access Control – CompTIA Security+ SY0-401: 1.3

An open network jack in a conference room can provide a malicious user with complete access to the internal network. In this video, you’ll learn how network access control (NAC) can be used to help secure network connections.

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In a previous video, we talked about 802.1X, we talked about network access controls, we went through how the conversation starts when you’re doing network access control with 802.1X on the network, and, as you’ve probably seen, it’s not the simplest thing to get running. There are a lot of different components, a lot of moving parts. Once it’s in place though, it runs extremely well. It’s a lot of work to get that there and, although it is very complex, you put it in right, it’s really going to work well for you.

You most often see this in very, very large environments. You’re not going to run into a lot of network access control requirements if you’re in a building of 10 people and you don’t have to worry so much in that small office of who’s got access to the network. You can see, they’re sitting at their desk and they have access to the network. But, in universities, in large enterprises, in environments that are very diverse, you have people in many, many different locations, geographically spread out, it makes a lot of sense to think about some method of network access control.

But you’re going to need all of the components to make it work. You’re going to need the servers for authentication. You’re going to need the databases. You’re going to need a way to maintain those databases with those username and passwords, maybe integrate into an existing name services that people are using for other authentication methods. All of those systems will need to be redundant because if one goes down, one breaks, then nobody would be able to log into the network.

So all of these different things have to be thought about from a security perspective before you go into doing any large, widespread use of network access control. In fact, it’s an entire section of the Security+ exams. Section 5.0 is Access Control and Identity Management. The entire section is dedicated to understanding and learning more about network access control. So, if you have any questions about how you’re going to implement those things, why it’s important, and how we’re going to address that and the Security+ exam, you can go to section 5.0 and go through all of those videos.