Wireless :: Security Requirements

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Humboldt State University uses network access control (NAC) software to provide more secure and reliable network access for everyone on campus. This means that, when you first request to connect to the wireless network, you will be asked to download and install a small software program called the SafeConnect PolicyKey. The program checks to to make sure your system is in compliance with the CSU Responsible Use Policy before you connect to the network, and will remain on your system until such time as you don't connect to the network for a 60-day period (eg over the summer). After 60 days' absence from the network, you're required to reauthorize your system.

To be in compliance with policy requirements, your system must have (as relevant to your operating system):

  • Patched and updated operating system
  • Up-to-date antivirus from the approved list. HSU also has a campus-wide license for the free use of Sophos Anti-Virus on personal computers.
  • Windows firewall enabled
  • Windows configured to notify you when new updates are ready to download and install
  • No network address translation device present
  • No peer-to-peer software running
  • No proxy running

If your system does not meet one or more of these requirements, you'll see a screen advising you of the problem and how to fix it. For your convenience, you are permitted to connect to the network in order to log a Technology Help Desk ticket and to specific websites that will enable you to download updates and bring your system into compliance.

The easiest way to prepare for this is to ensure that your operating system and antivirus software are configured for automatic updates and to preconfigure your system according to the above requirements before coming to campus. If you don't have antivirus software on your computer, HSU offers a free license for Sophos Anti-Virus to all students, staff, and faculty for personal systems, or you can download one from the HSU-approved list.

You can also download the policy key software ahead of time.

Note that if you plan to connect to the Internet using a Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo gaming device, you may only do so using ResNet (the network in the halls of residence); these devices are not permitted to connect to the main HSU networks.

HSU Wireless Network Security Requirements

For security reasons, it's always a good idea to keep your system patched and protected, both on campus and off. Follow the security guidelines below and you'll have a system that keeps itself updated and protected and meets HSU wireless network requirements.

A Current Operating System

To pass the security check, you must be using one of the following operating systems:

Windows (How can I tell which version I have?)

  • XP
  • Vista
  • Windows 7

Mac (How can I tell which version I have?)

  • 10.5
  • 10.6
  • 10.7
  • 10.8

Linux

All major Linux distributions are acceptable provided they are up-to-date.

Keeping Your OS Current

Make sure that your operating system is updated to include the most recent software patches. Windows (XP, Vista, 7) must be configured to install Windows Updates automatically; follow the links below for more on automatic updating:

Current Antivirus Software

You are also required to have up-to-date antivirus protection installed. We've compiled a list of antivirus software packages that meet HSU's wireless security requirements, or you can take advantage of the campus-wide license for the free use of Sophos Anti-Virus on personal systems. Most of the commercial products (but few of the free products) automatically configure themselves to download updates automatically. Always check to ensure your antivirus has the most up-to-date signature files.

Related Topics

Wireless, Security
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