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The 2007 Enterprise All-Star Issue

 

NAC helps with wireless LAN security at Sinclair Community College

A modest budget didn’t stop this community college from implementing stringent, tiered network access for wired and wireless LAN users alike

By , Network World
November 26, 2007 12:10 AM ET

Network World - For Scott McCollum, IT services director at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, network security can't mean one thing for the wired LAN and another for wireless connections.

After all, no matter their origin, security breaches can have serious ramifications for a school. "Security incidents can create intangible costs to the college, such as lost productivity or lack of customer satisfaction. In addition, they can create breaches of confidential information that could cause financial penalties for the college," he says.

Keeping wireless links secure can be particularly problematic. But shutting down wireless access wouldn't sit well with the school's 24,000 students and 1,000 faculty members or with the thousands of users of the conference and banquet center. "Users expect the network to be everywhere and available at all times, but they expect it to be secure as well. Every person that uses the network develops an opinion about it that contributes to the college's reputation as an educational institution, Scott McCollum, Sinclairwhich ultimately impacts enrollment and funding," McCollum says.

To address the college's needs for secure access from anywhere across the 20-building campus, McCollum rolled wireless and wired LAN security into a master project called the Secure LAN Strategy. "It's a road map for the implementation of network authentication for all computers that connect to the Sinclair network,"he says. This comprehensive, integrated view of wireless and wired LAN security earns Sinclair a 2007 Enterprise All-Star Award.

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