Network Access Control: Your First Line of Cyber Defense

Every day, the Department of Defense (DoD) blocks an estimated 36 million emails containing malware, sent in hopes of gaining unauthorized access to military systems and national security data, according to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

When national and citizen security is at stake, the ability to control who has access to federal agencies’ networks is critical — and growing evermore complicated.

These networks provide the backbone for creating, storing and transmitting personnel records, intellectual property, healthcare data and our country’s most sensitive information. It’s the kind of data that could be detrimental to your agency, not to mention national security, should it falls into the wrong hands.

For the IT professionals charged with permitting and denying access to those networks, the job has become increasingly complex.

Today’s more mobile and connected workforce introduces new challenges for government agencies trying to permit sufficient access to the required resources and to restrict access only to those who truly require it. Agencies must balance the need for network access by employees alongside the requirements to defend the network against a barrage of cyberthreats and risks. On top of that, agencies must adhere to strict compliance regulations.

As network boundaries increasingly extend beyond physical walls, network access control provides a first line of defense from insider and external threats. To take advantage of the security provided by network access control, agencies must ensure they’re properly defining network boundaries to include remote and field workers, while also exploring opportunities to automate security processes where possible.

In this report, GovLoop partnered with network security company Force 3 to examine and define the current challenges agencies face when securing their networks. We’ll also highlight the comprehensive approach required to address evolving security needs and challenges.