Northwestern University Information Technology has changed its Internet security system to provide more secure and stable Internet access to students on campus.
NUIT installed the new system over spring break. The program, Bradford Network Access Control, helps NUIT easily identify computers or other devices that have viruses or a vulnerability to viruses and allows them to block that single machine’s access to the Internet, said Wendy Woodward, NUIT director of technology support services.
Previously, NUIT had to shut down an entire part of the wireless network that the infected computer was accessing, which can restrict Internet for 30 to 50 users in the area rather than just the user with the virus.
“It’s more effective in how we can identify threats and address them,” Woodward said of the new system.
Before obtaining this new system, NUIT also shut down any Ethernet port that an infected computer was using to access the Internet.
Jim Roberts, IT director for student affairs, helped implement the new systems into the residence halls. Roberts said the security system would make Internet access more available to students.
“I think that was a broader solution to shut down that port and to prohibit access by any device via that port,” Roberts said about gaining Internet access via Ethernet cable. “This is a more targeted problem solving procedure. You just target the device, whatever the device is that is causing the problem, so I think that from a student service perspective it’s much less