Indoor and Outdoor wireless (wifi) access can be a very important asset for schools and college campuses. In today's mobile and wireless world, students are known to carry more than one wireless device. In fact, the typical student today carries at least three mobile devices: a smartphone, a laptop, and a mobile tablet such as a iPad or iPod.
Even teachers carry several devices, easily doubling the total number of devices on your school wireless network. Indoor and Outdoor wireless networks (wifi) can be a great tool that gives students a greater ability to learn, but it needs to be controlled to prevent malicious spyware, viruses, and to keep users visiting using the wireless network efficiently.
Why You Need Control
With school wireless networks, indoor or outdoor, you need to be aware of all of the different types of devices and user groups that are connecting to your network. You need to not only be able to grant access to students and staff, but if you have a guest network, you need to have security in place to protect your network from guest users that have potential to introduce a virus to your network and stop users from violating security policies.
It Used to be Easy, but Technology Moves Quickly
It used to be simple when you could just block ports or services to instantly provide control over specific applications accessing the school wireless network. Now there are so many different devices, users and roles -- it may seem difficult to keep your students off Facebook, while still allow your office staff to update the school's social media. Application level control is a wireless solution allows policies to be established depending on the user and the application. For example: You can block Facebook Chat completely, without blocking Facebook. Or, allow someone to look at Facebook, but not post updates to it.
Role Based Access can help bring your school wireless network control by integrating with Active Directory (or another directory database that supports LDAP). Using Role Based Access we can assign a role to a user (Faculty, Staff, Student, Guest, etc...). Once we have the role defined we can leverage built in firewall services to apply policies to the role. For instance; Faculty can access multiple network shares, servers, printers, web, and other network resources while the Student role is limited to access to one network share, a limited set of printers and web access is proxied through a content filter.
SecurEdge Networks can help design a complete, secure wireless network for your school or college campus. By using advanced Next Generation Firewall techniques, updated systems and role based access control, SecurEdge Networks can help establish a wireless network that will not just support the many devices inside the school area, but also provide security and network control. Contact us here for a free consultation. Or download our free school wireless design guide.