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News

Network access control at educational campus

ForeScout Technologies : 31 July, 2008  (Application Story)
CounterACT is providing effective IT security and network access control at a Californian community college
ForeScout Technologies has announced that Golden West College (GWC), a member of the California Community College system since 1965, has deployed the CounterACT family of NAC appliances in its extended campus services network. As a full-service community college, GWC offers on-campus and on-line college courses and multiple on-campus community services - including a bookstore, cafeteria, child-care, cosmetology centre, theatre and more - which require a secure network free from self-propagating threats and unauthorised access to point-of-sale information.

According to Anthony Maciel, Director of Technology Support Services at GWC: "We adopted CounterACT because it enables us to control access to our servers, and much more: we use it to discover network assets, protect our internal network against malware introduced through visitors' laptops, manage student/guest connections, and protect payment services information. We found that CounterACT integrated quickly and seamlessly with our existing heterogeneous network. We deployed the CounterACT appliances in less than a day and were able to audit the network for policy compliance of connected devices and manage real-time updates almost immediately."

"We are now using it as a PCI Compliance ramp," Maciel continued. "The compliance kit in CounterACT version 6.3 helps jumpstart the somewhat arduous audit process by providing preconfigured PCI policies and reports as plug-ins to CounterACT's enterprise management console. This is an important solution for us as we look to bring our network into full compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)."

CounterACT combines clientless network access control (NAC) and signatureless intrusion prevention to ensure all connected and connecting devices are in compliance with network security policies and are free of self-propagating threats. CounterACT seamlessly integrates into any network environment without requiring costly upgrades or infrastructure changes, and enables enterprises to tailor enforcement actions to match the level of policy violations, ensuring user disruption only occurs when it is warranted or required by the IT staff.

In addition to traditional security issues, today's enterprises - like GWC - face a steady influx of vulnerabilities introduced by students and visitors who are able to bypass physical security and gain network connection inside the perimeter defences. CounterACT addresses this problem by enforcing network security policies across all managed and unmanaged network devices, including desktops and laptops as well as other devices such as VoIP phones, handhelds and network printers, without the need for a software agent of any kind.

"With CounterACT, enterprises like GWC have the centralised network access control and policy management tools needed to protect the network and speed general security policy compliance," said Ray Wizbowski, vice president of marketing for ForeScout. "Using CounterACT, IT personnel can build policies to ensure all connecting devices meet the security requirements of the organisation which includes real-time identification and mitigation of self-propagating threats. GWC is a great example of an organisation that takes security seriously and is proactive about stopping threats and protecting sensitive point-of-sale information."

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