According to Infonetics Research's latest report, Enforcing Network Access Control, the NAC enforcement appliances segment will increase "dramatically" starting in 2006 with 3,062-percent growth expected between 2005 and 2008. Infonetics believes this space will be volatile over the next three years, with "significant consolidation" in the market.
Network integrated NAC enforcement devices are predicted to grow almost 1000 percent between 2005 and 2008, and SSL VPNs for NAC enforcement will grow 798 percent.
According to the study, the most common type of network integrated NAC enforcement device will be an Ethernet switch that supports 802.1x, and is able to talk to NAC clients and policy servers.
The report identifies three big guns that loom large in the burgeoning NAC market: Cisco, Microsoft, and the Trusted Computing Group. The first two are, the analyst firm notes, developing their own NAC-like solutions and the third is an independent consortium working on standard implementations for NAC.
The Infonetics study found that Cisco's NAC offering is the most recognized brand of the three main NAC solutions, followed by Microsoft's NAP. The Trusted Computing Group's Trusted Network Connect systems came in a "distant third".
"By far the largest portion of NAC enforcement revenue between now and 2008 comes from network-integrated enforcement devices, but the biggest change is in NAC enforcement appliances, whose share of the market nearly triples between 2005 and 2008," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research and author of the report.
Infonetics reports that network access control, or NAC, is often considered the holy grail of network security, as it is an intelligent network infrastructure that can identify users, identify and do integrity checks on the computers they are using, and then grant them access to specific locations and/or resources and set policies based on user and machine identity.
There are three main components in most NAC solutions: clients, enforcement, and backend. Infonetics' report focuses on the enforcement market, including network integrated NAC enforcement devices, NAC enforcement appliances, and SSL VPNs for NAC enforcement.