BYOD isn’t new, which is why colleges and universities already have established role-based authentication and virtual local area networks (VLANs) that prevent students from accessing internal applications, databases and other sensitive or confidential data. Of greater concern is the possibility that personal devices carrying viruses will reach the network and potentially infect internal campus resources.
Higher education institutions are taking different approaches to securing their networks within a BYOD environment.
Among the steps being taken, campus IT leaders are:
- Requiring users to register every device (including gaming consoles), so that if a virus is introduced or a device attempts to access inappropriate areas, IT staff will have a way to tie devices to their users.
- Utilizing two-factor authentication, in which both the user and the device are verified before network entry is allowed.
- Providing antivirus and antimalware software for all student, faculty and staff computing devices.
- Scanning devices at their points of entry to ensure they have virus protection and required patches.
- Educating students, faculty and staff about security practices and network policies, as well as their own responsibilities as users, before network privileges are granted.
- Verifying users’ understanding of these practices and policies via signature or timestamp.
- Locking down the core network by adding additional firewalls around university financial systems and other mission-critical applications or databases.
- Relying on virtualization and internal clouds to further protect financial and personal data.
For more on BYOD in higher education, read the CDW•G white paper on BYOD.
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