Rene Paap

-May 28, 2020

Gartner Market Guide for NAC 2020

The NAC market has evolved significantly and offers a compelling solution to gain continuous operational oversight and threat mitigation of users, endpoints and IoT devices accessing network resources and applications. Whether your organization wants to start with gaining comprehensive endpoint visibility and guest management or is seeking a more proactive, Zero Trust access model that ensures all users and device are verified before any access is granted – there is an abundance of features to explore and many vendors to consider. Gartner has done an excellent work in assessing why and how enterprises are applying NAC, what functions are crucial and what vendors can deliver.

Gartner just released their Market Guide for Network Access Control*. It informs security and risk management leaders how a NAC provides connection authentication, endpoint visibility, security posture compliance and integrations with network and security infrastructure. The report shares that most organizations interested in NAC are looking to establish security of devices and users accessing the network, driven primarily by audit findings and zero trust network security strategies. Our NAC solution, Pulse Policy Secure, aligns to many of the recommendations in the report.

According to the May 2020 Gartner report,* Gartner recommends that security and risk management leaders responsible for network and endpoint security should:

  • “Implement NAC solutions that integrate well with existing network infrastructure and security solutions to improve security incident response times and lower overall operating overhead for the NAC product itself.”*

From our perspective, PPS offers extensive interoperability — integrating with network, WiFi, NGFW, SIEM, MDM and endpoint security, as well as ICS/IIoT security tools. PPS is also fully integrated with the Pulse Connect Secure solution — sharing common Client, rules engine, appliance and management. This ultimately enables our customers more rapid deployment, easier on-going administration, unified policy to enforce endpoint protection, and seamless secure roaming between remote and local access.

  • “Focus primary evaluation criteria of NAC solutions on vendors’ abilities to align with an organization’s goals, such as discovery and device visibility, pre-connect or post-connect authentication and ease of use, more than on detailed technical comparisons across solutions.”*

From our perspective, Pulse Profiler functionality within PPS provides 360-degree visibility — remote and on-premises authentication, discovery, classification and tracking of managed, unmanaged and rogue endpoint and IoT devices. PPS also offers agent and agentless Client mode that supports NAC, VPN and SDP operation which allows for end-to-end remote, cloud and on-premises authentication, intelligence and access control.

  • “Plan a multiphase implementation effort that requires commitment from multiple teams including executives, networking, endpoint, service desk and security teams — even for moderately complex organizations.”*


From our perspective, PPS provides easy, phased in deployment — start with visibility, add guest, user and IoT management, and expand with stronger, granular policies for endpoint enforcement, network segregation and threat response

Additional key features of Pulse Policy Secure include:

  • Streamlined administration — configuration wizard, dashboard and centralize system management
  • Comprehensive authentication methods — 802.1X, non-802.1X and Layer 3 access controls with RADIUS, MAC auth, TNC and SNMP, ACLs and FW Integrations
  • Granular policy engine — policy wizard to expedite rule creation and offers built-in user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) anomaly detection
  • Enhanced high availability — physical and virtual active and passive failover options and support for hosting PPS in Azure and AWS


Please see all details in the 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Network Access Control. For more on Pulse Policy Secure and additional related resources please visit


*Gartner, Inc., Market Guide for Network Access Control, John Watts, Lawrence Orans, Claudio Neiva, MAY 12, 2020. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.   Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.