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July 10, 2014

Queens College Implements ForeScout CounterACT to Protect its Network

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Organizations big and small now have networks connecting all of the devices they use to improve how they communicate and collaborate. Using mobile and cloud technologies, they are able to interact with employees, partners and customers anytime and anywhere. However, this convenience brings with it vulnerabilities that have been exposed by global criminal and governmental organizations seeking intellectual and financial rewards. The recent revelation of Chinese military personnel launching cyber espionage operations directed towards assets in the US is just one glaring example. In order to reduce the chances of a security breach and gain full visibility of its network, Queens College is going to use ForeScout CounterACT to monitor and manage corporate assets as well as connect the devices used by faculty and students.

ForeScout Technologies provides pervasive network security solutions for Global 2000 enterprises and government organizations that allow them to continuously monitor and mitigate security exposures and cyber-attacks. The ForeScout CounterACT platform is designed with next-gen network access control (NAC) capabilities by delivering real-time intelligence and policy-based control to preempt threats and remediate problems.

As a long-time customer, Queens College was looking to continue the relationship with ForeScout by implementing the latest version of CounterACT. The school was looking for a platform to manage and monitor not only its corporate assets, but also connect the 5,000 devices used by its faculty, as well as the almost 20,000 students attending the college.

"Before we had CounterACT, we really didn't have clarity on how many devices were accessing our networks. We discovered all sorts of things, and it's been a learning experience. We now know that there are about 6,000 wireless and 5,000 wired endpoints at any given time. This knowledge helps us when deploying policies, and gives us the ability to monitor, learn and then make educated decisions," said Morris Altman, director of Network Services at Queens College.

Queens College has updated its NAC solution from ForeScout for some time now, and the latest version is the CounterACT Enterprise Manager and four CounterACT 4000s. This will give the school some of the following benefits: real-time visibility, asset management, network control, policy enforcement, compliance, and strong interoperability.

CounterACT is easier and faster to deploy than traditional policy enforcement products, because it has a single physical or virtual appliance that can be installed in one day using the built-in configuration wizards and templates. This along with its ability to work with the vast majority of popular switches, routers, firewalls, endpoints, patch management systems, antivirus systems, directories, and ticketing systems, allows it be integrated without requiring infrastructure changes or equipment upgrades.

"The BYOD phenomenon is now reality for all institutions of higher education, making already complex network security issues even more challenging. CounterACT's next-gen NAC solution offers a cost-effective, time-saving approach to gaining complete visibility and control of all devices on the network," said Brant Kennedy, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales at ForeScout.

Edited by Adam Brandt
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