As technology has evolved, it's become bigger and more impressive. But this evolution has brought complexity — and many IT teams are left feeling that they're fighting against the technology that is supposed to help make their lives easier.
It's a rising concern for IT professionals, especially considering the sector's skills shortage. In the UK, for example, the skills shortage has risen by one third over the last 12 months.
Bringing simplicity back to essential IT security tools, like network access control and strong authentication access, is non-negotiable as we face the growing cybersecurity threats. A key barrier to entry today is the perception that these solutions are complicated, and nobody wants to start a project because it's complex and many pitfalls could catch you out. But effective solutions should help control complexity, not make matters worse.
NAC and authentication access helps your organisation be more secure and enables your IT people to be in control and manage whatever's happening on the network. But since there's so much negativity surrounding these, it prevents IT teams from exploring all the options available to them.
So how can solutions be IT team friendly? It's easy! They need to embed two key principles at their core: simplicity and being vendor agnostic. Instead of fighting the tools, you should be able to rely on the product and not be worried about the configuration. Incorporating features like step-by-step setup wizards and providing examples ensure it's possible for IT teams to configure their environment.
What does vendor agnostic mean?
Vendor agnostic means choosing the solutions that work best for you. It means you don't need to be skilled at a specific vendor to complete your configuration. So you don't need to worry about hiring experienced security people. You can choose the solution that best fits your needs without worrying about how it will work with your existing environment.
What vendor agnostic is not
Many solutions claim to be vendor agnostic. However, issues soon emerge because they are not as agnostic as they pretend to be, and as soon as you start integrating those solutions, problems begin to emerge. So it prevents you from configuring the solutions exactly as you would like.
Simplicity can help you achieve a high level of security
There is a declining number of people able to fulfil the wide range of highly specialised cybersecurity roles because the sector is getting more diverse in different areas. You have identity access management, network security, endpoint protection platform, remote access security, etc. And this is not helping organisations because they feel that they need to hire specialists for all these specific tasks.
People think the problem is that they need to find highly skilled employees to do these things, but there's a different way of looking at it. You can find a solution that doesn't require people to be certified in particular vendors. What you need is a comparatively straightforward solution to implement. And the reason it's relatively straightforward is the setup wizards guide you along the process and take you through every step needed during the configuration - without sacrificing the level of security.
Rather than finding and hiring highly specialised people, an alternative is to use solutions that don't require highly skilled specialists to complete the configuration. For example, someone experienced in setting up a Wi-Fi infrastructure is very knowledgeable and would be capable of performing a complete NAC installation with the right support.
IT security is a must-have; we cannot live without it anymore because of the threats facing organisations worldwide. But it should not be a headache either. It's tempting to avoid solutions like network access control and strong authentication access because of outdated perceptions. However, by working with solutions that focus on simplicity and being vendor agnostic, then there's no reason you can't enjoy the benefit of these tools.