“The main benefit since CounterACT’s deployment is that we no longer run the risk of our students flooding the network (accidentally or otherwise) with viruses and other internet-based threats, as it continuously scans each laptop for malware and alerts students, when necessary, to update their anti-virus solutions. With such a high number of new boarding students joining us each year from countries around the world, the type and scale of threats brought onto the network can be vast.”
-- Mark Gosden, Network Manager at Sutton Valence School
Established in 1576 and set in the beautiful surroundings of the Kent countryside, Sutton Valence School (SVS) is a co-educational independent day and boarding school for ages 3 to 18. It is one of the oldest public schools in the UK.
Incorporating a senior and a preparatory school, the SVS network connects staff, pupils and guests within 15 buildings and one branch location. In 2007, SVS began looking for a network access control solution to prevent users it deemed to be a security risk from accessing the school’s network, and to protect against self-propagating threats.
After evaluating a number of NAC solutions, SVS chose ForeScout’s CounterACT.
SVS’s Network Manager Mark Gosden was looking for a cost-effective, NAC solution that demonstrated specific device capabilities and offered good support from the vendor.
Gosden explains: “We chose CounterACT because it enables us to protect our network from potentially damaging, unknown machines brought onsite by boarding school students and then connected to our network. Critically, CounterACT performed exactly as we wanted, at a lower cost compared to the competition.”
A CounterACT 1000 (CT-1000) appliance was installed by SVS in summer 2008 to protect 1,000 on-campus devices.
How ForeScout Helps
• Identifies and controls rogue traffic on SVS’s campus network. “CounterACT analyses the packets as they pass through and if, for example, it sees traffic flooding from one device on the network to one of our servers, it would certainly stop that for us and the user would lose his or her connection.”
• Simplified management, compliance and reporting. “CounterACT is definitely helping SVS to achieve compliance, in terms of our information security policy, and also has a strong reporting capability. I have created a couple of report templates of my own – the process is easy and accurate.”
• Offers complete visibility of network and attached devices, in real-time. “Sutton Valence has recently opened a new presentation theatre on campus. Though the theatre is a wonderful asset for the school, it brings additional security risks when guest speakers plug-in their laptops and require network access. ForeScout’s CT-1000 protects against these types of threats, helping to optimise the uptime and availability of our network.”
The ForeScout Difference
Gosden appreciates the feature set and ease of management that CounterACT offers, as well as ForeScout’s high levels of support and customer service:
“Working against a list of known antivirus packages, CounterACT checks any new device that connects to our network to make sure it has AV and that it is up to date. In addition, the support we have had from ForeScout was very good. They did the majority of the implementation and configuration. I have the admin console which I look at occasionally, but once you set the rules in the device it really looks after itself.”
About ForeScout Technologies, Inc.
ForeScout is the leading provider of access control and compliance solutions. With top-tier customers from every vertical, ForeScout has perfected the art of providing strong access control without disrupting network operations or needlessly punishing end users. ForeScout's flagship product, CounterACT, protects over 500 of the world's most secure enterprises and military installations with global deployments spanning 37 countries. The CounterACT family of products provides a path to complete security policy enforcement and is fast and easy for administrators to deploy, manage and maintain. For more about the company and its products, visit www.www.forescout.com.
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