Stroud College

View Stroud College Case Study

“Having deployed ForeScout CounterACT, the risk that viruses could spread within our network has been reduced to about zero.”

— Tim Hanks, IT Services ManagerStroud College

Challenge:
  • Stroud College, based in the United Kingdom, has a student population of around 4,700
  • The College wanted to secure its wired and wireless networks against potential infections.
  • The College wanted a solution that would work with its existing network infrastructure with few changes. The college wanted a solution that was flexible and easy to deploy.
  • The College wanted a network access control solution that would identify and protect the network against computers and smartphones no matter who owned them–students, staff, contractors or guests.
Solution:
  • Stroud College’s IT team evaluated several different vendors’ NAC products – including Cisco and Bradford Networks – as well as an open–source NAC solution. None of these solutions met all of the campus’s needs.
  • ForeScout CounterACT proved to be the best choice. According to Tim Hanks, IT Services Manager at Stroud College:

“ForeScout CounterACT worked with our existing network infrastructure really well. CounterACT provided the basic network access control features that we were looking for, plus it included really good intrusion detection and threat blocking features. We found CounterACT to be both incredibly powerful and very intuitive to use!"

Results:
  • Threat Prevention

ForeScout CounterACT gives Stroud College strong network security. It prevents the spread of viruses on the network, and it allows the IT team to see and control everything on the network. It also detects rogue network devices which, by definition, present a security problem. Hanks commented: “Having deployed ForeScout CounterACT, the risk that viruses could spread within our network has been reduced to about zero."

  • Reduced risks of IT consumerisation

“One of the initial drivers for our purchase of ForeScout CounterACT was to allow flexible device access for both staff and students, while maintaining network security. ForeScout CounterACT has enabled us to roll out wireless services to our learners in a user-friendly and cost-effective way, allowing us to offer them really flexible access to IT resources."

  • Policy enforcement

ForeScout CounterACT allows Stroud College to apply different policies to the college-owned computers vs. guest machines. The PCs owned by the college are checked at logon to make sure their AV is up-to-date and that they are properly configured. For guest machines, instead of checking their configuration at logon, ForeScout CounterACT monitors the behaviour of the device after allowing it on to the network.

  • Time saving

“An unexpected benefit of ForeScout CounterACT is the fact that we are saving time – we can identify and respond to network security problems with a simple right mouse-click."

  • Flexible remediation

“For our domain-connected computers, we can send out browser pop-ups to deliver remediation messages to users. We can also double-check that WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) patches have been successfully applied. And as we start to implement some of the more draconian measures – for example, shutting down rogue devices and quarantining student laptops which exhibit viruses – we can do so without bringing the network to its knees."