Managing the Unmanageable: Network Admission Control (NAC) Market to Reach $3.2 Billion by 2010, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 25, 2007 – The enterprise network is changing, and IT executives and staff are being worn down by the security demands incurred by the influx of unmanaged endpoint devices bombarding their corporate networks. According to new research from IDC, investments in network admission control (NAC) will drive the market to $3.2 billion in 2010, up from just $526 million in 2005.

It's critical for IT organizations to enhance their network infrastructure and restrict any form of network connection and access to all but authorized and qualified endpoints. "New network security philosophies, standards, and architectures all help IT staffs in managing the unmanageable," said Chris Christiansen, vice president of IDC's Security Products and Services group.

Those categorized as unmanageable usually include non-employees that have access to corporate accounts, but corporate IT does not generally own or control the PC/laptop/other mobile device, operating system, applications, network connections, attachment of storage devices, or user behavior. "A host of relatively new concepts and strategies hold the promise of providing enhanced security and more sanitized networks with little to no negative impact on productivity," Christiansen said.

Other key findings from the report include:

— Recent interoperability agreements between major NAC vendors and a standards group is beginning to remove prior adoption concerns

— IT executives agree that NAC is an essential part of an overall enterprise security strategy

— A NAC network appliance is attractive to customers because of its simplicity and the possibility of less impact on the organization

— The LAN component of NAC is growing quickly as most enterprises and mid-tier customers gradually migrate to hardware-based LAN solutions.

In this study, Network Admission Control: Organizations Get the Knack for NAC (IDC #206966), IDC examines the current dynamics driving NAC as an emerging security technology. Through independent research and in-depth interviews, IDC provides a 360 degree market view that includes an IT management perspective, a NAC vendor perspective, and a 2006-2010 NAC market forecast. It also provides a unique snapshot of where U.S. enterprises are in terms of NAC implementation, and the issues, concerns, and recommendations of IT executives as they move forward with their NAC programs.

In addition to the research outlined above, IDC is developing a special study to track emerging vendor offerings in the evolving NAC market. The study will provide the results of an expanded IDC NAC web survey as well as NAC vendor shares.

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