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ForeScout protects Taunton College from USB memory risks

ForeScout Technologies : 28 October, 2009  (Application Story)
Threats associated with the growth in the use of USB memory devices and iPhones at Richard Huish College in Taunton are being reduced with the use of CounterACT from ForeScout Technologies
ForeScout has announced that Richard Huish College in Taunton has installed ForeScout CounterACT to protect against the security risks associated with a proliferation of USB devices and iPhones on its campus network.

Richard Huish College is a sixth form college serving the South West of England. Previously a grammar school for boys in the 18th century, Arthur C Clarke - author of the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey - was among its former pupils. Today, Richard Huish College caters mainly to full-time students aged 16 to 18, although it also has a growing range of professional courses for adults. The college attracts approximately 2,000 students each year, supported by 250 staff.

Bill Perry, IT Services Manager at Richard Huish College, said: "In early 2009, we were looking for a solution to three security concerns:

• The near-ubiquity of USB devices and iPhones joining our network increases the risk of both sensitive data loss, and the introduction of malware and virus-infected files.

• We had just installed a wireless network and were worried that unknown endpoints could join our network. These endpoints might be carrying malware, or might not be running up-to-date antivirus. We needed to be able to see each device, and its security posture and location, at all times.

• Our teachers and staff use laptop computers. They take them home, where their children play with them - and where there is a greater possibility that they could become infected."

Richard Huish College looked at numerous NAC products and several endpoint security software products, including products from Sophos. When they saw a demo of ForeScout CounterACT, they immediately recognised that this single product would solve all three problems that the school was facing. Perry commented: "IT buying cycles are usually lengthy here, but CounterACT was fast to prove itself during evaluation, so we purchased the product fairly quickly."

Perry continued: "ForeScout CounterACT will vastly reduce the risk of our network being taken down by viruses and zero-day threats, and help mitigate against the introduction of USB and iPhone borne malware - which gives us peace of mind, and allows me to sleep at night! More importantly, CounterACT helps to keep the college running. If the network stops, teaching stops and the whole college stops, as lectures now rely on technology including interactive smartboards and laptops. Also, our network is running 24x7 - allowing staff and students to work around the clock - so there isn't room for any interruptions. We needed something to help monitor and control our network 24/7, especially when IT staff may not be around."

John Hagerty, EMEA Sales Director for ForeScout, commented: "CounterACT's threat prevention engine and virtual firewall capability particularly appealed to Richard Huish College, allowing the IT team to isolate rogue devices without disrupting the rest of the network - or the people using it."

Evaluation and deployment of the ForeScout appliance for Richard Huish College was carried out by systems integrator Axial Systems. Peter Thompson, Account Manager at Axial, said: "Richard Huish College found that ForeScout CounterACT made it very easy to monitor what's on the network. This increased visibility allows them to determine exactly where each device is located, plus provides information on security updates, such as antivirus and passwords, for each endpoint."
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