In a world where mobile and IP-enabled devices have infiltrated almost every aspect of our working lives, universities – like all organizations – are under pressure to secure access to their campus networks. While addressing these issues, the IT team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), needs to support efficiency, ease-of-use and productivity for their users across the board.
At LJMU, Bradford Network’s Network Sentry Network Access Control (NAC) solution ensures that IP-enabled devices accessing the University’s campus network are secure and compliant with existing security policies, in a much more efficient and automated way.
Prior to implementing its Network Sentry NAC solution, LJMU secured access to its wired network in a cumbersome, time-consuming way. Since students would sometimes disconnect the University’s known clients to connect their own devices, the IT team had to register the MAC addresses of authorized devices manually in order to limit access to these devices. However, this system was not scalable and had limited tracking and management capabilities. As student- and University-owned devices proliferated, the problem grew, and the existing solution became untenable.
The IT team identified the need for a more efficient and scalable method of securely managing the number and variety of IP-enabled devices connecting to its network. It needed a solution that could provide complete visibility into the type and security profile of devices accessing the network, as well as offer automated self-remediation to users.
One key reason that LJMU selected Bradford Networks was vendor-independence. Network Sentry can support network equipment from any vendor, so University is free to implement network solutions of its choice while taking advantage of comprehensive visibility and automated access control.
Automation, Security, Efficiency and Productivity Gains
LJMU implemented Network Sentry to provide visibility and control for clients connecting to its network.
Network Sentry provides LJMU with comprehensive capabilities:
”Now we can check compliance not only at time of connection, but also continually,” said John Cannon, Network Manager, LJMU. “Network Sentry helps us focus on devices needing the most attention. At any given time, we have typically 20 devices quarantined by the solution, which can then be investigated.”
Another benefit is that staff and students accessing the network can take ownership of their devices’ security. If a device doesn’t comply with the University’s security policy, users can self-remediate the problem immediately. This easy, automated process provides huge time savings for the IT team, freeing them to be more productive else-where.
LJMU is also using Network Sentry to monitor the security and integrity of other devices accessing its network. These include emergency systems, point-of-sale systems, building management systems (air-conditioning, heating and fire systems), card access systems and audio-visual systems. Network Sentry controls which VLAN these sys-tems can access and ensures they are secure.