Aventail’s SSL VPN Helps DePaul University’s Administrators, Students and Staff Work Wirelessly from Anywhere on Campus

By | September 20, 2006

SSL VPN leader Aventail announced today that DePaul University, the country’s largest Catholic University, has selected and deployed Aventail’s award-winning SSL VPN solution to provide secure remote access to the university’s campus-wide wireless network. Now DePaul’s administrators, staff and more than 23,000 students can securely and remotely access internal or external applications and files based on their log on credentials from any laptop and mobile device.

“After researching a number of wireless security solutions, we chose Aventail because it did not require us to purchase and integrate specific hardware and other security infrastructure products into our network,” said Nicola Foggi, network engineer at DePaul. “We are now able to provide administrators, students and staff with easy-to-use and easy-to-manage access from our campus-wide wireless network, while at the same time providing strong access controls to safeguard our data and applications.”

DePaul University’s Aventail Implementation

Based in Chicago, Ill., and founded in 1898, DePaul has grown to become the nation’s largest Catholic university, serving more than 23,000 students who reflect a broad range of ethnic, religious, geographic and economic backgrounds. The size of the student body and the sheer size of the campus necessitated that DePaul find a wireless security solution that would allow it to authenticate and log all users that accessed its campus-wide wireless network.

“DePaul used to distribute complex WEP keys to end users, which caused confusion, lost keys, and lots of calls to the help desk,” said Joe Salwach, associate vice president for Information Services at DePaul. “Improving the ease of use and the security were two key factors in our selection.” Network administrators needed a solution that could ensure that the network and data applications would be secure, could integrate into the existing environment without being an expensive or unnecessary point solution as well as provide easy-to-use, secure access to any application for its students, administrators and staff.

After researching a number of wireless security solutions, DePaul chose Aventail ST2. DePaul has deployed Aventail ST2 as a Network Access Control gateway to enable secure access for users across its campuses. All wireless users are initially placed on a segregated network with no access to any internal or external (public Internet) resources when they first connect to the Internet. Users then launch a browser and are immediately redirected to the Aventail ST2 appliance, where they log in and are then able to access their network files, applications and directories based on their role and privileges. Other benefits of Aventail’s SSL VPN include: easier set up and connection to the wireless network; no WEP key or additional set up requirements to access the network; enhanced encryption for wireless use; enhanced end user security policy enforcement; and easier support and compatibility with the wireless network.

DePaul may add a way to quarantine users whose operating systems aren’t up to date and provide a method for self-remediation and extending the solution for the university’s wired users, according to Foggi.

“DePaul’s implementation of Aventail’s SSL VPN as a NAC appliance to provide secure easy-to-use access to all of its WLAN users is a great example of how organizations are using us to improve productivity and security at the same time,” said Evan Kaplan, CEO of Aventail. “ We are proud to add DePaul University to our list of worldwide customers.”

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