All Posts By

Ofer Amitai

NAC is dead? The Resurrection of NAC

By | Cloud Security, Network Access Management, Network Security | No Comments

Some argue that NAC (Network Access Control) is no longer relevant in today’s world of the mobile workforce and distributed (or decentralized) organizations that have moved to using cloud applications for the most part. Adding the fact that many organizations are allowing personal devices to be used in the corporate environment (BYOD) and the fact that IoT devices are used everywhere, some might consider this to be further evidence to the conclusion that NAC is no longer relevant or needed.

In 2004 the first NAC products came on the scene and signaled the start of a new segment in Information Security. At the time, most organizations still had a physical perimeter, desktops were still the main PC to be used at the workplace and laptops were starting to make a wide appearance. BYOD (bring your own device), IoT (Internet of Things) and multi-branch, geo-distributed organizations that rely heavily on cloud services were not prevalent yet. Accordingly, the standards for NAC were very different from what they are today and mainly focused on the wired environment. NAC solutions were then primarily based on using 802.1x pre-connect enforcement with supplicants which were not part of the operating system. Organizations trying to implement NAC solutions only had the option of deploying 802.1x – which ended up with long, complex deployment and implementation, leaving them with a bad taste for NAC.

Over the past 20 years, NAC technologies have evolved exponentially. Vendors introduced control and discovery techniques that have yielded better and faster deployments and ROI. Just as the enterprise network and endpoints have evolved, NAC solutions have evolved from merely allowing or blocking endpoints onto the network into a broader security solution that provides network visibility, endpoint profiling, security posture assessments, risk management and compliance.

Additionally, some solutions have scaled to suit the modern workforce, heterogeneous networks, hybrid cloud and on-prem environments, diverse endpoint environments (such as IoT and BYOD) and globally distributed organizations. This increase in number of devices connecting to the network and change of working environments   has been our reality for the past 10 years and has evoked a new NAC. Hence, the resurrection of NAC continues to be upon us.

Future of NAC
At this point in 2019, over 60% of enterprise data is stored in cloud applications (public cloud, private cloud and a hybrid of both). By 2020, just a year from now, it is predicted that 83% of enterprise workloads will be taking place in the cloud (1). According to IDG, 77% of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud. Additionally, more technology-dependent industries including manufacturing, high-tech, and telecom are being led by executive management to become 100% cloud-based. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that only company owned and secured devices gain access to corporate intelectual property and information in the inner most circles of the enterprise. According to Gartner research , by 2023 80% of enterprises will adopt two or more cloud-based security services. This is no coinsidence. The complexities in the cyber security landscape alongside the increasing shortage in skilled security professionals is leading towards a greater adoption of cloud-based security services and specifically to the adoption of NAC as-a-Service.

Another factor in future solutions is related to increaseing IoT adoption by enterprises and factories. Visibility and monitoring of IoT must be done by an agentless solution. We believe that having agentless solutions that are centrally controlled will be preferred by many organizations in 2019 and the years to come.

Lighter, adaptable and agile solutions will be necessary in the new era. Enterprises will transition into using easier NAC solutions such as centralized NAC, agentless NAC, NAC delivered from the cloud and Software-as-a-Service. These NAC solutions will save time and money on deployment, training and implementation, while at the same time providing the visibility and accuracy needed to handle today’s complex and hybrid networks. Next-gen solutions are able to cope fully with today’s decentralized organizations and the old NAC configurations will no longer suffice as they are perimeter focused.

 

Conclusion

NAC was effective for the problem it was created to solve in the mid-2000s, but subsequent technological advancements in cloud applications and the mass-adoption of mobile computing devices by the mobile workforce, and IoT have introduced new complexities and challenges. The new computing model requires new cyber security solutions, and the new, NAC technologies are uniquely positioned to be among them. Cloud-native solutions will address concerns of lengthy deployments and geo-distribution. Agentless and centralized solutions will shorten and simplify implementations and everyday usage that were once the dread of CISOs and IT security teams in the enterprise.

 

***

You can see the ease of use and the benefits of cloud-delivered NAC by starting your own a free trial of CLEAR (Cloud-delivered solution) today.

Read the following to learn more about the NAC as-a-Service solutions, and how they simplify cloud access control.

You can also schedule a demo for CORE (on-premises solution) and learn more about agentless and centralized NAC as well as regulatory compliance.


  1. LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study
  2. The State of Network Security in the Cloud Era, Lawrence Orans, 2018 Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit.
  3. 2.9 million according to (ISC)2
dr-logo

The Security Perimeter Is Dead. Long Live the New Endpoint Perimeter.

By | news | No Comments

The network no longer provides an air gap against external threats, but network access for devices can take up the slack. The fall of the enterprise perimeter is like the falling of a wall. It has created a new security landscape in which each endpoint, no matter from where it connects, has become its own perimeter — a weakness that can give adversaries access to the entire network.

Here you can read about the best practices to implement in the enterprise to handle threats both inside and outside the physical enterprise perimeter, allowing organizations to provide remote branches and “traveling” endpoints the same security as their corporate headquarters.

Published in Darkreading.com

Read the full article here.

In search of network security and simplicity

By | news | No Comments

In this new article Ofer Amitai, CEO & co-founder of Portnox, outlines the seven most important capabilities that agencies should focus on when choosing a NAC solution.

After all, we live today in the world of devices.  In almost every enterprise, devices outnumber employees. Everything is connected these days — IP phones, the conference room smart TV, the AC systems, the lighting infrastructure and coffee machines. IP addresses rule.

The people in charge of network security must now plan for a new set of threats. For each organization that plan looks a bit different, but it should always surround the “crown jewels” with the appropriate security techniques. For government agencies, these jewels would include personally identifiable information on citizens and employees, national security-related information, financial data and mission-critical systems.  IT managers must make sure that IoT, bring-your-own and managed devices are not posing a risk to the agency’s assets.

Published in GCN.com.

Read the full article here.

Top Five Cybersecurity Trends to Expect in 2019

Top Five Cybersecurity Trends to Expect in 2019

By | Network Security | No Comments

From a certain perspective, 2018 hasn’t been as dramatic a cyber-security year as 2017, in that we haven’t seen as many global pandemics like WannaCry. Still, Ransomware, zero-day exploits, and phishing attacks, were among the biggest threats facing IT security teams this year. 2018 has not been a dull year as far as breaches. The cycle of exploit to discovery to weaponization has become shorter, and unfortunately, it has become more difficult to protect the enterprise network and the various devices connected to it. In 2017, roughly 63% of organizations experienced an attempted ransomware attack, with 22% reporting these incidents occurred on a weekly basis (*ESG Master Survey Results, 2018 IT Spending Intentions Survey, December 2017). We expect to wind up with close statistics for 2018.

Here are five trends we believe will dominate cyber security in 2019.

  1. Security and Privacy Merge.
    Despite the fact that everyone is still trying to understand the new privacy landscape and perhaps because they haven’t fully grasped the new realities, everyone is paying attention. Perhaps it is our ever increasing focus on privacy in general and GDPR specifically. Perhaps it is because more organizations will be working long hours to embrace the compliance measures that are needed to protect privacy that we won’t see a major lawsuit against a company. All we know is that we have seen an increase in companies seeking NAC solutions to keep up with all the new compliance regulations and it is very satisfying to hear that sigh of relief, when a company has implemented their solution.
  2. AI + ML = forensics and investigations.
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are going to be implemented into the arena of practical usage in cyber security – mainly for forensics and identification of culprits in cyber events. Investigating security events is costly both in terms of time and the expertise required. We believe that AI and ML are well positioned to help in these investigations for obvious reasons, relating to computing power and specialized programming of what to look for and the ability to learn. AI and ML enable the clustering and analysis of monumental volumes of data that would otherwise be impossible to do within a reasonable amount of time even if you had the best trained minds in the business working on the investigation.
  3. Ransomware – more targeted attacks are expected against wealthy and famous individuals.
    Social networks offer a world of insights and information on almost anyone who has an account. Unfortunately, it provides a lot of details that assist cyber offenders in the monetization of attacks (due to bitcoin) and the ease of performing spear phishing attacks – all will be combined for a more targeted approach.
  4. IoT security issues will increase.
    IoT will be deployed in more business usages and scenarios. The risk will rise and eventually this will cause more issues with a few headlines of devices that were used to hack networks.
  5. The conversation – Whose job it is to protect organizations in the public and private sector?
    Nationwide attacks on large businesses will bring up the discussion of who should protect a country and a business from cyber security attacks. Should the state and country be active in the defense of the private sector? In the same respect, you wouldn’t expect a bank branch to deploy anti-missile defense systems against the possibility of an offending country.

At Portnox, we will continue to innovate our network security and risk control tools to provide solutions to all, empowering our customers with valuable, holistic solutions to protect their networks.

From all of us here at Portnox, we wish you happy holidays and a great new year!

Dynamic Port Configuration

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

CORE has a built-in capability to discover and define port properties automatically, thus eliminating unnecessary manual labor. The most common reason for editing default rules is to adjust the uplink identification rule if the default settings do not identify your uplink ports automatically.

The administrator has control to set any of the following properties:

  • Uplink – defines if a port is connected to other switches.
  • Rex – sets special ports that will be skipped by CORE enforcement and will never be blocked.
  • Hub – categorizes a port as an authorized hub port.
  • Display – determines whether to display the ports in CORE’s UX, or to remove them completely.
  • Automatic Acknowledge – any device that connects to an “automatic acknowledge” port will be whitelisted by its MAC address.

Watch this video for more details on how to set dynamic port configurations:

frost and sullivan

Portnox Named Network Access Control Market Leader for Midsize to Large Organizations by Frost & Sullivan

By | Our Technology | No Comments

“Easy NAC”… Easier said than done?

As you know, the enterprise network no longer sits within traditional and secured walls in offices. The enterprise intellectual property, data bases, workflows and communications have been moving in a perimeter-less environment for a while now, extending to any place where employees and data travel. Mobility, digitization, and IoT have changed the way we live and work, resulting in ever expanding networks and increasing complexities in resource management and disparate security solutions.

The fact that organizations are decentralizing has made it more important than ever to have solid network security and controls for every endpoint, no matter which access layer is being used to connect with the network. For this reason, having centralized and software-based network access controls (NAC) are more important than ever. No matter where your employees are connecting from and through which devices, no matter which contractors or guests are requesting access; IT security teams can now offer smooth continuity of workflows and productivity while maintaining full visibility and implementing security-controls on any endpoint accessing the enterprise network.

Simplicity.

Over here at Portnox, we must take all of the latest changes to the network into consideration as we continue to innovate and craft our solutions. It helps that the main focus point at Portnox has always been to deliver a simple experience to the end-user as well as the IT administrator. Portnox solutions simplify onboarding, operations and maintenance by offering simplified architecture in a centralized, software-based solution for easy deployment and management. Our team does not deal with physical appliances but rather delivers software solutions – whether using the on-prem or cloud options. All solutions function across all access layers, providing 100% coverage and visibility of the network and continuous risk-monitoring.

For these reasons, among the main NAC vendors, Portnox has been named the leader for network access control products in the category of midsize to large organizations with a 22% market share by global research firm Frost & Sullivan. In the new report, analyst Tony Massimini said: “Portnox’s simplified architecture, which supports both 802.1X authentication and SNMP based control, sets it apart from competitors.” A full copy of the report is available here.

The Frost & Sullivan report highlighted several Portnox innovations, including:

  • Agentless architecture (but includes optional agent) for specific use cases, including continuous risk monitoring for roaming devices, remote access and cloud access.
  • Vendor agnostic design that connects directly to network infrastructure equipment via native protocols
  • Support for both 802.1X and non-802.1X devices
  • Powerful RESTFul API which enables customers to automate threat response workflows
  • Unique, profiling (fingerprinting) technology

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs).

Oftentimes, SMB to Large organizations turn to Managed Service Providers and Managed Security Service Providers (MSP/MSSPs) to handle their cyber security protective services.

In reviewing the key factors to growth in the NAC market in 2018, the report cited, among other things, the severe shortage in skilled security professionals that challenges all organizations, but more so the SMB-to-large segments than large enterprises. Next-generation NAC provides tools to offload many of the functions and automate workflows, thereby helping these organizations to overcome this shortage in skilled IT security professionals. At the same time, NAC will insert great relief to the many overworked and busy IT teams that are handling Network security and administration responsibilities.

This same automation and ease is extended to the management of customers by MSP/MSSPs. Portnox offers convenient and scalable NAC as-a-Service that allows MSP/MSSPs to serve their customers quickly, to keep track of what they are using and to handle growing organizations efficiently.

Vision

No matter the circumstances of the organization, Portnox is proud to offer a solution that is flexible and simple enough for anybody:

  • On premises Vs. cloud-delivered network security platforms
  • 802.1x protocols Vs. non-802.1X systems
  • Agentless Vs. agent (based on use case)

Read all about it in the full report available here

Here’s to a secure, productive and prosperous 2019!

Frost and Sullivan

Portnox Named Network Access Control Market Leader for Midsize to Large Organizations by Frost & Sullivan

By | press releases | No Comments

Company Cited for Simplifying Endpoint Security Policy Compliance and Supporting All Access Devices

New York, Dec. 10, 2018 – Portnox, a leading provider of network visibility, access control and device risk management solutions, today announced it has been named the leader for network access control (NAC) products among midsize to large organizations with a 22% market share by global research firm Frost & Sullivan. In the new report, analyst Tony Massimini says: “Portnox’s simplified architecture, which supports both 802.1X authentication and SNMP based control, sets it apart from competitors.”

According to “NAC Market, Global Forecast to 2022”, NAC revenues are expected to grow from 2017 to 2022 at a 16.9% CAGR, reaching $2.1 billion. A full copy of the report is available here.

“Midsize enterprises are choosing Portnox because our technology can be deployed on-premise or as a cloud service, support any device from all access layers and eliminate the management complexity of other network access control products,” said Ofer Amitai, CEO and Co-Founder of Portnox. “We expect to extend our market lead in 2019 as more managed service providers adopt our cloud-delivered CLEAR product to offer NAC-as-a-Service.”

The Frost & Sullivan report highlighted several Portnox innovations, including:

  • An agentless architecture that supports an optional agent for specific use cases, including continuous risk monitoring and compliance checks for roaming devices
  • Powerful RESTFul API which enables customers to automate threat response workflows
  • Unique, patent-pending profiling (fingerprinting) technology
  • Support for both 802.1X and non-802.1X devices
  • Vendor agnostic design that connects directly to network infrastructure equipment via native protocols

About Portnox

Portnox provides next-generation network access control and management solutions that enable organizations to reduce risk and enforce security policy compliance. The company’s products provide automated security, visibility and control for every device accessing the network including Internet of Things (IoT), BYOD, mobile and unmanaged systems. Portnox CORE for On-Premise NAC and CLEAR for cloud-delivered NAC support hybrid environments, are easy to deploy and manage, scalable and adapt to evolving customer needs. The company has been recognized for its innovations by Info Security Products Guide, Cyber Security Excellence Awards, IoT Innovator Awards, Computing Security Awards, Best of Interop ITX and Cyber Defense Magazine. Portnox has offices in the U.S. and Europe. Visit us at www.portnox.com, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

VP Tomer PR

Portnox Names Tomer Shemer-Buchbut Vice President of Products

By | press releases | No Comments

Cyber Security Analytics Expert Joins Leading Network Access Control Vendor’s Management Team

NEW YORK–Portnox, a leading provider of network visibility, access control and device risk management solutions, today announced that Tomer Shemer-Buchbut has joined the company as Vice President of Products. Tomer was previously head of the cyber security product team for global data-mining and intelligence provider Verint.

“Tomer is a recognized expert in cyber security analytics, advanced threat detection and building large scale software platforms,” said Ofer Amitai, CEO and Co-Founder of Portnox. “He will play a pivotal role in extending Portnox’s innovation lead in the network access control market and drive the development of new capabilities to address the growing challenges of securing IoT and hybrid cloud environments.”

Tomer is responsible for the design and development of the Portnox product portfolio. He joined Portnox from Verint, a global provider of analytics technology, where he led the company’s cyber security product team and development of unified detection and response solutions. Previously, Tomer held senior management positions in system design at Motorola Solutions, a provider of large scale secure communications solutions for enterprises and public safety organizations. He holds a BA in Computer Science and Psychology from the Open University of Israel.

“The network access control market is evolving rapidly to keep pace with large scale, distributed security risks being introduced by IoT devices, the proliferation of unmanaged hardware and use of cloud services that contain sensitive data,” said Tomer Shemer-Buchbut. “I look forward to building on Portnox’s technology leadership position, and delivering advancements that address the new security requirements created by hybrid data center-cloud infrastructures.”

About Portnox
Portnox provides next-generation network access control and management solutions that enable organizations to reduce risk and enforce security policy compliance. The company’s products provide automated security, visibility and control for every device accessing the network including Internet of Things (IoT), BYOD, mobile and managed systems. Portnox CORE for On-Premise NAC and CLEAR for cloud-delivered NAC support hybrid environments, are easy to deploy and manage, scalable and adapt to evolving customer needs. The company has been recognized for its innovations by Info Security Products Guide, Cyber Security Excellence Awards, IoT Innovator Awards, Computing Security Awards, Best of Interop ITX and Cyber Defense Magazine. Portnox has offices in the U.S. and Europe. Visit us at www.portnox.com, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.