Cisco first in NAC rankings

Study conducted by Infonetics places Juniper a close second to Cisco for security, leader in price-to-performance ratio

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By  Sean Robson Published  July 15, 2008

In a recent study conducted by Infonetics, Cisco came out ahead in a ranking of network access control (NAC) vendors.

Vendors were rated according to a number of criteria among them technology, product roadmap, security, management, price to performance ratio, pricing, financial stability and service and support. While Cisco emerged ahead of its competitors overall, Microsoft matched Cisco's score for financial stability and Juniper rated highest for price-to-performance and remained a close second to Cisco for security.

The research revealed that the main driver for the deployment of NAC is improved security and threat prevention, along with an emerging interest in regulatory compliance.

"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," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

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

"One of the most interesting findings from our 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," noted Wilson.

Infonetics' NAC study examines the trends, drivers, barriers, and implementation plans of organisations 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.

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