Every college and university IT department today is trying to effectively deliver access to their network when using a mobile device. Whether its a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or wearable, and whether its owned by the school or not, the growing expectation from both employees, students and guests is that they should (in-truth demand) have the ability to access the campus Wi-Fi network no matter what device they're using, no matter where they are located.
This causes some serious concerns including:
- User Engagement
The fact of the matter is that every higher education institution needs to give their faculty, students and guests robust, reliable and secure access to their network or networks. A critical component of successfully delivering that access is network access control or NAC.
To better illustrate the impact network access control can have in higher education, Aruba Networks has outlined five main benefits of deploying an NAC solution and how it will boost both your campus Wi-Fi network's performance and security.
The End-to-End Process
Implementing both security policies and access to resources through the network is easier than ever with the right network access control solution in place.
The graphic below from Aruba Networks, illustrates exactly how the end-to-end process functions:
Business Benefits from Using NAC
Visibility – Network access control provides IT manager's and their teams with centralized visibility and control over access to the network or networks. This helps to make sure your security policies are distributed and applied consistently across your entire organization.
Security – Delivering access to mobile devices, applications and your end-users means having the ability to properly enforce your policies, and then quickly audit them. This will allow you to ensure your staying up to date with relevant compliance regulations and mitigate the risk of any potential data security breaches.
Workflow – The whole point of allowing access to your campus Wi-Fi network from mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops, is to give your users what they are expecting/demanding. With NAC you can actually do this across both user-owned devices (BYOD) and corporate-owned devices. Again, enabling mobile devices to access your network is useless if it doesn't work properly, in fact it properly does more harm than good.
Mobility – Going along with workflow is mobility. In this case mobility refers to having the ability to be productive from anywhere on any device. Deploying network access control gives your end-users the flexibility to do just that.
Cost – College and university IT budgets are quite often tight and even if you do have some financial flexibility, you want to make sure everything you implement will be a sound investment. Deploying the right network access control solution will not only reduce the number of required appliances, but will also automate enrollment and device on-boarding and ultimately reduce the number of helpdesk tickets.
Network access control when deployed can be a very efficient and cost-effective solution to allowing anywhere, any device access to your campus Wi-Fi network. Giving IT manager's a single-point of policy implementation at both the device and individual level, better protecting the college or university against threats and improper use.