CyberGatekeeper prevents viruses

By Marie Jubert | For The Duquesne Duke

In response to student concerns and questions, officials from Computing and Technical Services explained the purpose of CyberGatekeeper, a program that students are required to download before accessing the internet.

CyberGatekeeper is a reputable software that is designed to reduce the risk of computer viruses that can spread via the computers that use the network at Duquesne. The implementation of this software is crucial since up to 10,000 devices can be using the network at the same time.

CTS executive director John Ziegler said Cybergatekeeper is a Dynamic Network Access Control software that makes sure the computer meets certain requirements before accessing the network.

“If everything meets the requirements, your computer will have full access and operate normally,” Ziegler said. “If your computer does not meet all the requirements, a dialog box will pop up explaining what you need to do to resolve the problem.”

Some students have raised concerns on campus that CyberGatekeeper has the potential to track what students do on the internet. Ziegler said the client does not monitor internet usage.

The new software, which was adopted this year, is not the first verification mechanism utilized by the University.

Ziegler said the CTS tried another product in the past that required the same type of authentication without installing a client. However, the product was designed for wired connectivity. Gatekeeper is specifically designed to authenticate wireless devices to the wireless network.

Although having to install Gatekeeper may seem like a hassle, it has its benefits. Gatekeeper ensures that all computers are up-to-date to prevent the spread of viruses, according to Ziegler. Specifically, Gatekeeper focuses on anti-virus software and operating systems to make sure that they are up-to-date to the standards that are defined by vendors.

“When a computer is not up-to-date, the risk of viruses and/or spyware greatly increases,” Ziegler said. “All it takes is one computer with a virus to affect the entire office or network and to cause damage to the data stored on those computers. CyberGatekeeper allows us to ensure all computers are up-to-date.”

Faculty and staff will be required to install Gatekeeper in the future.

Ziegler also said that CTS chose this product as a solution for the greater number of wireless devices on campus.

“In the past when the majority of devices were wired, we could detect a machine causing a disruption on the network and then shut down the port,” Ziegler said. “With the proliferation of wireless devices, we needed a way to detect a wireless device causing a disruption. Gatekeeper allows us to do that.”

For students having trouble with the client, visit the CTS Help Desk on the second floor of the Student Union.