Network Access Control (NAC)

Beginning August 2014, ITS will implement a Network Access Control (NAC) system across all the campus wired/wireless networks. 

The purpose of a NAC system is to prevent compromise of the computers that connect to the network or other network resources. When a computer infected with a virus connects to the SSU network, it can infect other connected computers or even damage infrastructure such as servers and network gear. The best mitigation against this risk is to ensure that any computer seeking connection to the SSU network has effective Antivirus (AV). A Network Access Control system enables IT departments to deny network access to unprotected computers and to guide the user to links where appropriate Antivirus can be downloaded.

This is how it works. The NAC checks each computer as it connects to be sure AV is installed, running and that it is a current version. If not, the user is automatically quarantined. To be removed from quarantine, the user must either enable/update their existing Antivirus or download/install a new one. Links are provided to both free and fee-based AV’s. Even though the computer has been quarantined, our NAC allows access to AV vendors’ web sites.

The ITS Network team will be updating the NAC system before the start of the fall 2014 semester.  The new system will use a different connection agent, a small program which will be installed on your computer.  The benefits will be improved security and will eliminate the need for re-authentication as you move from building to building across campus.

The upgrade of the NAC system will be accomplished in multiple steps to facilitate ease of transition.  The first step will be done tonight, Tuesday evening, August 26, as the ITS Networking team begins the first phase of the upgrade.

Questions can be directed to the ITS help desk at or 978.542.2036.