July 24, 2018

Network Access Control Header

By Paul F.

ActioNet recently helped a client implement Network Access Control (NAC) to address a requirement identified under Presidential Executive Order 13800. NAC is a mechanism that can allow federal agencies to define and implement policies that enforce how an agency allows secure access on their network ports for devices attempting to gain network access. Network Access Control solutions and policies can leverage endpoint security technologies deployed in federal agencies to enforce compliance with antivirus, host instruction prevention, vulnerability remediation, and authentication requirements prior to granting network access. ActioNet recently lead a project to expand on a previous ActioNet lead project of deploying NAC to the enterprise wireless infrastructure by expanding the deployment to the entire 20,000 plus enterprise physical client access ports. The project was in response to addressing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan (Risk Report) in accordance with Presidential Executive Order 13800, Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure. Specifically “Improving Access Management” to help our client address cited ineffective identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) processes in federal agencies.

Network Access Control


ActioNet staff supported the deployment of a Cisco technology Network Access Control solution leveraging 802.1x protocol standards. Our client is using several endpoint technology products for other services, and as part of their technology stack we were able to leverage existing products to provide cost savings implementing NAC to the enterprise. This allowed our client to successfully report compliance with OMB Memorandum M-17-25, Reporting Guidance for Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure. As a result of the project our client has improved their physical network access management security to prevent unauthorized devices from gaining network access. Due to ActioNet’s staff effort on the successful expansion of NAC for our customer, the staff received certificates of appreciation signed by the agency CIO, CTO, CISO, and Director of Enterprise Infrastructure.