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Queens College Optimizes Network Visibility, Asset Management and Compliance with Forescout CounterACT

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CAMPBELL, Calif., July 8, 2014 Forescout Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of pervasive network security solutions for Global 2000 enterprises and government organizations, today announced that long-time customer, Queens College, is successfully utilizing Forescout CounterACT® to monitor and manage corporate assets, in addition to connecting devices used by its 5,000 faculty and staff, as well as approximately 20,000 students.

Queens College, a senior college of the City University of New York, initially turned to Forescout to help protect them against the onslaught of advanced threats and propagating worms, which in the past would infect hundreds of computers, literally bringing the network to a crawl.

“Once we had CounterACT in place, the first time a new worm broke out, we had only three computers that became infected, and those were immediately isolated, and the infections contained,” said Morris Altman, director of Network Services at Queens College. “Additionally, those three users were automatically notified about the problem, and instructed to call our help desk so we could fix the problem. Instead of weeks, the problem was solved in less than a day, and had minimal impact on our students, faculty and staff.”

After such a positive experience with the initial implementation, the networking team at Queens College chose to keep Forescout as its network security solution to gain visibility and control over the users, devices, systems and applications requesting access to and on its networks. This was important, as the college was struggling with maintaining intelligence and security provision of both a large number of college-owned devices, as well as the huge influx of personal devices (BYOD) being used by its employees and students.

“Before we had CounterACT, we really didn’t have clarity on how many devices were accessing our networks,” said Altman. “We discovered all sorts of things, and it’s been a learning experience. We now know that there are about 6,000 wireless and 5,000 wired endpoints at any given time. This knowledge helps us when deploying policies, and gives us the ability to monitor, learn and then make educated decisions.”

As one of Forescout’s oldest customers, Queens College has updated its network access control (NAC) solution as new versions have been released. The school is currently using the CounterACT Enterprise Manager and four CounterACT 4000s, which have provided the following benefits:

  • Real-time visibility: The networking team is able to see what version of software and operating systems people are running on their endpoints. Prior to deploying CounterACT, the college did not have visibility into how many devices were accessing its networks. With CounterACT, they now know that there are about 6,000 wireless and 5,000 wired endpoints at any given time.
  • Asset management: The visibility also offers insight for enterprise asset management. For example, Altman works closely with the asset management team lead to notify them of missing plug-ins for managing devices.
  • Network control: Queens College is also using CounterACT to block unauthorized and noncompliant users.
  • Policy enforcement: Like all colleges and universities, the school must comply with the Digital Rights Millennium Copyright Act. The Forescout solution assists IT in resolving take-down notices for music and movies with copyright violations being downloaded from peer-to-peer software.
  • Compliance: The college also blocks unauthorized applications from running on the network, and allows the IT teams to notify students and faculty when their machines are lacking up-to-date software. This indirectly assists with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance — by keeping all endpoints up-to-date, the school is reducing the risk of information disclosure.
  • Automation and IT savings: With Forescout, the help desk knows about issues, often even before the user does, and calls them first to resolve the issue quickly and conveniently.
  • Improved network uptime: With CounterACT, Queens College is currently seeing significant improved network uptime. Prior to deploying the Forescout appliance, the school would have security incident-related network outages that would last a day or more, two or three times per year. “Now with CounterACT, we haven’t had outages anymore. We’re up nearly 100 percent of the time,” said Altman.
  • Strong interoperability: Queens College integrated CounterACT into its existing wired, wireless and security infrastructure leveraging Forescout ControlFabric technology. For example, the college integrated CounterACT with FireEye to mitigate APTs.

“The BYOD phenomenon is now reality for all institutions of higher education, making already complex network security issues even more challenging,” said Brant Kennedy, EVP, worldwide sales & support at Forescout. “CounterACT’s next-gen NAC solution offers a cost-effective, time-saving approach to gaining complete visibility and control of all devices on the network. We are happy to assist Queens College over the years in achieving paramount network security and uptime.”

In addition to the technical benefits of deploying the Forescout solution, Queens College benefits from dedicated customer service and support for its implementation. Altman noted that Forescout immediately takes action when problems arise, and the company regularly checks in to make sure CounterACT is functioning correctly.

“As a matter of fact, Forescout is one the most customer-centric companies I’ve worked with,” said Altman. “We’re constantly having people checking in with us, seeing how things are going, helping and making suggestions. It’s great. From the sales team to the engineers, they’re all dedicated, they all care, and they all seem to love the company.”

Relevant Links
Queens College Case Study
Forescout CounterACT
Forescout ControlFabric
Forescout Blog
Forescout Facebook
Forescout Twitter

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About Forescout Technologies, Inc.
Forescout delivers pervasive network security by allowing organizations to continuously monitor and mitigate security exposures and cyberattacks. The company’s CounterACT platform dynamically identifies and assesses network users, endpoints and applications to provide visibility, intelligence and policy-based mitigation of security issues. Forescout’s open ControlFabric technology allows a broad range of IT security products and management systems to share information and automate remediation actions. Because Forescout’s solutions are easy to deploy, unobtrusive, flexible and scalable, they have been chosen by more than 1,500 enterprises and government agencies in 54 countries. Headquartered in Campbell, California, Forescout offers its solutions through its network of authorized partners worldwide. Learn more at www.forescout.com.

Forescout Technologies, Inc. is a privately held Delaware corporation. Forescout, the Forescout logo, ControlFabric® and CounterACT® are trademarks of Forescout. Other names mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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