NAC at Secondary School – when everyone needs to get access to the network

There is no doubt that the characteristics and requirements of every industry are very specific. Nonetheless, the education industry has high demand requirements in relation to Network Access...

There is no doubt that the characteristics and requirements of every industry are very specific. Nonetheless, the education industry has high demand requirements in relation to Network Access Control.

Students and pupils need free internet access for tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and PCs, and laptops often need direct access to the internal network. One of the main security problems in a Secondary School is that students and pupils, who share, revise and employ their devices all over the campus, are often less careful referring to their password than with their proper device.

To protect students, pupils and the whole network, a simple IT Security solution won’t be enough. The campus will face many challenges. First of all, a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment that ensures everyone on campus can bring their own devices and access the education network is highly required. Secondly, the School administrators need to be able to grant a student permission to access the network and then control what they are able to see whilst making sure there is a clear division of resource and network accessibility, as there is a huge damage potential due to viruses and device malware. Other security issues result from illegal downloading or file sharing forbidden copyrighted material by students and outsiders.

The aforementioned issues and challenges lead administrators to the implementation of a BYOD portal that is suitable to meet all these requirements and to grant network access to third-party devices in a flexible way. It is important that the BYOD portal works in a way that is ideal regarding the definable resources. It should be revocable, time limited and traced.

These specific requirements of the education industry lead to the implementation of an extensive Network Access Control solution that contains a BYOD portal. This will ensure the monitoring of all admissions as well as monitoring third-party devices to prevent the campus network from unauthorised access. To guarantee a smooth operating process, the NAC and BYOD solution has to be implemented very quickly and without any changes to the existing infrastructure. The last (but not the least) important point in relation to the execution of an effective IT security solution in an education environment is the licensing model. Instead of a device-based licensing like in other administrative areas, a user-based licensing model for students is the optimal and easiest way to grant access to students with more than one device (a smartphone, laptop, PC etc.).

This is where macmon NAC offers the BYOD Portal that fits perfectly the requirements of the education industry. Thanks to the macmon Guest Service – now included free in the macmon Network Bundle – every user can run several devices easily using the self-registering portal. In order to support the crucial importance of research and teaching, cost has been taken into account to reflect the student’s usage in the macmon education licensing model.

With only one user name and password or, even better, with the AD-user and password (if available), students can register and manage their own devices within the Captive Portal of macmon. Therefore many definable devices are allowed whilst every registration in the network is comprehensible via the user. This is how the facilities can maintain the overview of the driven devices and the connection to the users without any own administrative effort. Based on the location, access can be defined in many ways, such as by user or groups – internet access only, internal network access only, both etc. – whilst the access rights are basically available as long as the user account is valid.  Graphically adjusted to the respective facility, regardless of the used LAN and WLAN structure and hardware, highly flexible due to the fully developed role concept and easy to use because of the automatic and dynamic set of rules, macmon NAC, with the Guest Service and BYOD portal, is suitable for every facility.

For more information about macmon and Network Access Control, visit our vendor page.

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