Driven by security concerns introduced via BYOD policies, the once-sleepy NAC market is now booming and predicted to grow 63 percent this year, according to Gartner research. Competition for a slice of that growing pie is fierce. Bradford Networks, a Gartner Magic Quadrant "Visionary" in the space, fired the latest volley today by announcing availability of its pure cloud-based NAC solution, the first in the industry.
Hosted by managed network and hosting provider Windstream and available either as a SaaS solution or a managed service through independent tech support organization DecisionOne, Bradford's Network Sentry cloud service provides a full-featured deployment of the vendor's Network Sentry NAC. It requires no on-premises equipment.
Cloud hosting of a NAC solution raises some security concerns of its own, but Bradford Networks claims to have communications security covered. All communication between an enterprise network and the Windstream cloud infrastructure "is via a highly secure VPN connection," according to a Bradford Networks statement. Perimeter firewalls, intrusion detection, network monitoring, and Denial of Service protection further defend customer data. In addition, the solution neither captures data in transit nor stores organizational data in the cloud.
Bradford Networks hopes their cloud and managed service NAC offerings will expand Network Sentry's reach to companies for whom on-premises NAC deployments have been out of reach. BYOD and the security issues it brings affect more than just large enterprises, after all.
"Bradford believes that offering our full NAC capabilities in the cloud will benefit companies of all sizes by reducing the need for on-premises software and hardware and the management that goes along with it. In addition, we are offering a managed cloud offering for those companies who want to outsource the overall management of the NAC application," Dan Haley, CEO of Bradford Networks, told me.
Bradford Networks promises fast, easy, affordable, customizable, and seamlessly integrated deployments through its partnerships with Windstream and DecisionOne.
Jude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.