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General Networking FAQ

Key Terms:

  • Network Access Process: The process of authentication and validation of your computer required for network access.
  • Authentication: The process of verifying your access to the network by confirming your username and password and associating it with your computer.
  • Validation: The process of confirming that certain security measures are in place on your computer.

Q: How does the Network Authentication and Validation system work?

The computer security system performs the following functions:

  • Requires authentication to the network.
  • Validates whether the system connecting to the network meets the minimum security standards.
  • Quarantines the system until it meets the minimum security standards.
  • Provides access to the remediation sites.
  • Once the system is validated as “clean,” allows access to the network.

Q: Why Are We Introducing this Solution?

There are many medium or higher rated threats (List of Threats) that infected computer systems every year. We needed an effective solution to effectively quarantine systems until proven “clean” and to ensure unprotected systems that are infected were cleaned before entering the network. From investigation of solutions used at other Universities, it has been determined that the best way to prevent this from happening is to insure that virus software and OS critical update/patches are current and maintained.

Q: How Does Validation Work?

The validation solution will “trap” any internet browser access and redirect the user to a web page that instructs the user to download and install a validation agent.

Once launched, the client installs the validation rules and processes these. If the workstation fails the test, it is allowed internet access only to the remediation sites for a period of time. Once corrected, full network access is provided and a timer is set for the connection.

The connection remains intact until the timer expires; at that time, the connection is reset and the user must re-validate by launching the client.

Q: What is ClearPass OnGuard?

ClearPass OnGuard is an automated security control platform that verifies updated anti-virus software to ensure the network remains free of viruses. All students and vistitors must authenticate with ClearPass to use the network.

Q: What Validation Checks are being performed?

The following are some examples of validation checks that can be performed:

  • Run scans for known vulnerabilities.
  • Check for current release of anti-virus software and current virus definitions.

Q: How Long Do the Validation Checks Take?

The checks can take between 15 seconds to a few minutes, depending on how long it has been since you last completed updates.

Q: What Remediation is Available?

Anti-Virus Failure. If the user’s system fails the check for Sophos anti-virus software, the user is provided a link to download Sophos.

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