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Broad network access

Broad network access definition

Broad network access refers to the system’s ability to provide access over the network through various devices. It is one of the essential characteristics defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in its description of cloud computing.

In practical terms, broad network access means that users can interact with their data without being tied to a specific location or device.

See also: network access control

Benefits of broad network access:

  • Flexibility. Users can access services and files from anywhere instead of having to use a specific device.
  • Cost efficiency. Organizations don’t have to spend as much on infrastructure because there’s no need to maintain systems on specific devices.
  • Collaboration. Team members from different locations can work together in real-time.
  • Scalability. Because cloud services can be used on virtually any device, scaling becomes much easier.

Drawbacks of broad network access

  • Security concerns. Cloud services increase the potential attack surface, leading to higher risk of a data breach or unauthorized access.
  • Connectivity dependency. Without stable internet connection, users won’t be able to access their files and services.
  • Data charges. Accessing services over the internet might lead to increased costs associated with data usage.
  • Reduced control. For organizations, providing broad network access can mean reduced control over how and where data is accessed, potentially complicating compliance with data protection regulations.