The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Campus Networks Have Limited Protection

Not surprisingly, some 85% of K-12 and higher education institutions in the U.S. and U.K. permit students and/or instructors to log into institutional networks from their own computing devices, according to a new survey from Bradford Networks, says an article in Campus Technology.

What may be surprising, the article adds, is that most of these institutions are somewhat lax in their security measures.

The Bradford survey found more than half don’t make their users install antivirus software first and two-thirds don’t have the ability to determine who’s connecting to their network.

While 61% of the responding institutions do limit what certain users can access on their networks, the rest give all of their users unfettered access to all parts of the network. Twenty-seven percent don’t even require users to register before accessing the network.

But campus IT departments are already aware this is a problem. Supporting the bring-your-own-device trend and the related security challenges is the No. 2 issue on the Top Ten IT Issues of 2012 report from Educause. The report notes it can be difficult for schools to balance security and privacy with the need to provide access to information and resources while supporting an ever-widening array of devices and platforms.

Another challenge is that some budget and policy decisions are out of the hands of IT staff, and are not always a priority for those with decision-making power.

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