SOURCE: Infonetics Research

May 29, 2007 15:04 ET

80% plan to enforce NAC in the network, says Infonetics in new study

CAMPBELL, CA--(Marketwire - May 29, 2007) - In a new study on network access control (NAC), analyst firm Infonetics Research found that 80% of the large organizations it interviewed plan to enforce NAC in the network, and 51% plan to enforce at the client (some do both).

The study, "User Plans for Network Access Control: North America 2007," shows that other than the enforcement location, users are still fairly confused about NAC overall, and unsure exactly how they will handle many aspects of NAC deployment.

"One of the major problems with the NAC market right now is that there isn't consensus on what NAC really is. Since the application of NAC is broad, almost any company who was involved in security or network infrastructure didn't have to stretch very far to label some existing product or technology 'NAC.' Customers investigating NAC are likely to look at everything from host-based software solutions to entire forklift upgrades of Ethernet switching infrastructure and more than a few steps in between," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

The study includes a NAC product manufacturer scorecard rating Cisco, Consentry, Juniper, F5, McAfee, and Microsoft. According to the user-rated scorecard, Cisco leads in overall vendor perception, but they are matched very closely by a variety of vendors for different criteria. For example, Microsoft actually tops Cisco's score for financial stability, and they both show equally poorly when it comes to pricing. However, Cisco has a strong lead on Microsoft when it comes to user perception of their technology, security, and service and support.

Sample Data

--  Of the respondents interviewed who plan to deploy NAC by 2008, 32%
    have already deployed NAC
--  The #1 driver for deploying NAC is protecting corporate resources from
    unauthorized users; tied for 1st is the desire to limit the impact of
--  The need to demonstrate policy or regulatory compliance (64% and 54%,
    respectively) is up as a driver for deploying NAC compared to last year
--  55% plan to buy in-line NAC solutions, and another 11% aren't sure if
    they'll buy in-line or out of band
--  On average in 2006, respondents spent about 2/3 of their total NAC
    budget on 802.1x-enabled switches

Of the respondents Infonetics interviewed who were not planning to deploy NAC, 42% said NAC simply isn't a priority for their organization, meaning their security requirements are not strong enough to justify the expense and time required to evaluate, purchase, and deploy a NAC solution. 33% said that NAC solutions are simply too expensive, and 28% said they're unable to justify NAC to their management. The study concludes that NAC vendors need to continue driving the costs of NAC solutions down and provide a business case for NAC that appeals to corporate buyers as well as technology buyers.

Infonetics conducted the study to understand the trends, drivers, barriers, and implementation plans of large organizations deploying NAC infrastructure. The study covers NAC product expenditures, perceptions of leading NAC solutions and manufacturers, strategies for integrating NAC with existing security infrastructure, and more.

Infonetics interviewed 83 purchase decision-makers at large organizations (more than 1,000 employees) from a wide variety of vertical markets that plan to deploy NAC by 2008. Infonetics interviewed an additional 81 respondents who do not plan to deploy NAC by 2008, to find out why.

Download sample data at For sales, contact Larry Howard, vice president, at or +1 (408) 583-3335.

Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm specializing in data networking and telecom. Services include quarterly market share and forecasting, end-user survey research, service provider survey research, and service provider capex analysis.

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Jeff Wilson
    Principal Analyst, Network Security
    Infonetics Research
    Email Contact