Chicago State University

ITD Security

Network Access Control:

Following are the requirements to connect to the CSU campus network:

  1. Anti-virus application with most recent updates
  2. Specific updates for operating systems
  3. CSU assigned username and password

In the past, ITD used a combination of a customer honor-system and technology (CCA) that identified and blocked “bad” internet traffic to prevent infections from spreading across the network.

As technology evolves, CSU’s network infrastructure needs to change accordingly to accommodate the growing needs of students and employees. For example, more students are now using their cell phones and tablet pc’s to connect to the campus network. Managing BYOD while ensuring network security is a balancing act.

In order to ensure that our campus network remains secure, ITD is in the process of implementing a Network Access Control device. This device will ensure that the end user computers that are connecting to the CSU network meet the basic requirements such as anti-virus solution and current updates, critical operating system updates, appropriate login credentials, among others. In short, this device will automate several ITD processes that are currently manual by nature.

NAC is a proactive, end-user networking solution for wired and Wi-Fi connections that identifies potential problems on a computer before it accesses the network. The system can educate the customer about any potential vulnerability and then provide them a link or resource to resolve it on their own. This solution is highly customizable and will be setup in the best interest of all campus network users.

Malware (e.g. spyware, viruses, worms) exist that can automatically disable services like anti-virus software. Many times the customer has no idea this has happened. This service will help alert the customer that this problem has occurred and provide them with a solution.

How is Network Access Control being used?

NAC will help us answer some of questions listed below:

  1. Does the computer have anti-virus software installed, running and up-to-date?
  2. Does the computer have a firewall installed and enabled?
  3. Is the computer configured to automatically install system updates OR was the last update older than 30 days?

Advantages of NAC:

While the network may appear to be “free” to students, the University pays for the Internet bandwidth usage. In the fall of 2014, the network bandwidth was doubled to keep up with the legitimate and increasing need. Customers should see an improvement in their individual bandwidth as a result of these changes.

File-sharing applications can lead to infections from malware, intellectual property theft or identity theft. We have an obligation to help students protect themselves and other network users from infections.

Computers connecting to the network will have the most current updates, secure logins and anti-virus solution. This will ensure that we are working in a secure environment.