SOURCE: Infonetics Research

July 14, 2008 13:20 ET

Infonetics Research: Cisco scores highest in new NAC user ratings; competition is close

CAMPBELL, CA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - A new study by Infonetics Research that provides a broad view of user thinking and plans for network access control, including perceptions of leading NAC vendors, shows the number-one driver for deploying NAC is limiting the impact of security problems and stopping threat propagation.

In the study, User Plans for Network Access Control: North America 2008, respondents not deploying NAC by 2009 were asked what would change their minds; the top 3 responses were regulation, cost, and technology.

When it comes to actually purchasing and managing NAC solutions, the study finds that networking departments (vs. security departments) are most often responsible for day-to-day NAC management.

"One of the most interesting findings from our NAC user study is that networking groups are responsible for day-to-day management of NAC at about two-thirds of the medium and large organizations we interviewed. NAC is a very unique example of a critical piece of IT infrastructure that is entirely driven by security concerns, but largely managed by networking gurus. Selling NAC solutions requires a certain amount of finesse; vendors need to understand how to appeal to both groups, and most importantly to acknowledge (and handle) the security team's concerns, while ultimately focusing on making a solution that is deployable by a networking professional," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

Other highlights from the study:

--  The need to demonstrate policy or regulatory compliance are both up
    (as drivers to deploy NAC) compared to last year; compliance is a big
    issue facing almost every public company in North America
--  More than half of Infonetics' respondents plan to buy in-line NAC
    solutions, and about a quarter aren't sure if they'll buy in-line or
    out-of-band solutions
--  In a series of questions asking respondents to rate NAC vendors on
    their technology, product roadmap, security, management, price to
    performance ratio, pricing, financial stability and service and
    --  Cisco scores highest overall, but is matched very closely by a
        variety of vendors for different criteria
    --  Microsoft matches Cisco's score for financial stability, and the
        technology gap that existed between Cisco and Microsoft in a
        similar study conducted by Infonetics last year is nearly gone
    --  Juniper rates highest for price-to-performance and is a close
        second to Cisco for security

Infonetics' NAC study examines the trends, drivers, barriers, and implementation plans of organizations deploying NAC infrastructure over the next two years. The study covers NAC product expenditures; perceptions of leading NAC solutions; strategies for integrating NAC with existing security infrastructure; a NAC product manufacturer scorecard rating Cisco, Juniper, F5, McAfee, Microsoft, and Symantec; and more.

Infonetics conducted interviews with NAC purchase decision-makers at 162 medium and large organizations from a wide variety of vertical markets, as well as an additional 80 respondents who do not plan to deploy NAC by 2009, to find out why.

For report highlights, log in to Infonetics' online portal from (see Network Security area). For sales, contact Larry Howard, vice president, at or +1 (408) 583-3335.

Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively. Infonetics covers a broad range of service provider, product manufacturer, and enterprise and SMB markets. Services include market share, forecasts, end-user and service provider survey research, custom research, and consulting.

Contact Information

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