Business & Technology

Fortinet Network Access Control (NAC) Receives Commendation from Frost & Sullivan

By Peter Newton | August 24, 2020

We at Fortinet are very proud of the success that our FortiNAC solution has achieved, including being recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the fastest growing network access control (NAC) solution on the market. We believe our ability to maintain a growth rate over two times higher than the overall NAC market growth rate is a testament to our focus on delivering a solid zero trust architecture and our ability to converge NAC and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Why NAC Matters

With the surge in IoT devices coming onto networks, the ability to see and control everything connecting to the network is more critical than ever. As more and more companies grapple with securing their wired and wireless networks, effective NAC solutions are becoming necessities, not “nice-to-haves.” It’s no surprise that you can’t secure something if you don’t know it exists or can’t quickly identify it. A robust NAC solution is required to see and understand exactly what is on your network.

NAC’s Checkered Past

While NAC has been around for decades, earlier iterations were difficult to deploy and use. A critical flaw in older solutions was the dependence on the 802.1x protocol for authentication. While it worked well for wireless networks, the administrative pain of deploying it on switching networks usually led to project abandonment after months or sometimes even years of trying. 

Issues with Some Current NAC Solutions

Today, some NAC solutions avoid relying on 802.1x by using traffic patterns to identify devices on the network. However, this approach has also led to challenges. Customers who tried these solutions, then turned to us for help, shared that this approach has two main problems. 

  • First, the need to see traffic in order to identify a device means that the device needs to be on the network long enough to generate a significant amount of traffic. Therefore, a device would be on the network for 10 to 30 minutes prior to an identification. Sometimes, devices were so quiet that they were never detected! 
  • Second, traffic sensors are needed in every location. For organizations with multiple locations, this results in high deployment and maintenance costs.

The Fortinet Advantage

FortiNAC does not rely on 802.1x, so it’s easy to implement on both wired and wireless networks. It also only needs to be deployed in one location. A second high-availability unit can be deployed for disaster recovery (DR), if desired.

To discover every user, application, and device, FortiNAC scans your network. With up to 20 different techniques, it can then profile each element based on observed characteristics and responses, as well as calling on FortiGuard’s IoT Services, a cloud-based database, for identification look-ups.

With these technical and architectural advantages, FortiNAC is proving itself and gaining market share. There is also the advantage of seamless integration into the Fortinet Security Fabric. As part of the Fortinet Security Fabric, FortiNAC can take enforcement action in the network based on information gathered by other security products. FortiNAC is also able to extend the power of the Security Fabric to the multiple third-party switching and wireless vendors that FortiNAC supports. 

To learn more, take a look at the full Frost & Sullivan report.

Discover how Fortinet's Network Access Control solution (FortiNAC) provides organizations with the ability to see and control all the devices and users connected to the network.