SafeConnect Getting Started

    These Frequently Asked Questions have been compiled to share information about the NetReg Replacement Project and SafeConnect.  Please click the links below to find answers to many specific questions. If you have remaining questions after reviewing the information provided please send your questions to irt@bu.edu

    1. What is SafeConnect?
    2. What does the SafeConnect Policy Key Client actually do?
    3. What do I need to do?
    4. Where can I find more information about the SafeConnect project?
    5. How long will it take me to install the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
    6. I thought NetReg was slow, will SafeConnect be faster?
    7. How intrusive is SafeConnect?
    8. Do I have to use the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
    9. Is the SafeConnect Policy Key Client compatible with my computer system?
    10. What happens if I uninstall the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
    11. What if my system is not up-to-date with patches?
    12. How do I configure my firewall to permit the SafeConnect Policy Key Client to communicate with SafeConnect server?
    13. Will SafeConnect be configured on the wireless networks?
    14. Will IP addresses change?
    15. How often will I be asked to re-authenticate?

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      1. What is SafeConnect?
        SafeConnect is a commercial Network Access Control (NAC) appliance that was purchased to replace NetReg.  SafeConnect is part of Boston University’s security initiative to help keep computers and networks as free as possible from viruses, spyware, and other things that put you and others on the BU network at risk. Networks and systems protected in this way generally perform better and experience less downtime because there is less malicious software.  As a member of Boston University’s network, you benefit in two ways: by knowing your computer is properly configured and in having reasonable assurance that others connected to the network are generally also protected and are much less likely to pose a threat to your computer or network access.  SafeConnect will first be rolled out to ResNet wired connections only, and then the guest wireless and conference services .  For your computer to operate in a SafeConnect-protected network, you will need to download and install either the Windows Client/Policy Key  or Mac Client/Policy Key.  You will need to know your BU login name and Kerberos password.  The “SafeConnect Client” and “SafeConnect Policy Key” are both terms for the same thing.

      2. What does the SafeConnect Policy Key Client actually do?
        The SafeConnect Policy Key Client continuously validates that your system security requirements are up-to-date as per the Boston University’s acceptable use policy. Your privacy is important to us. No user data is collected or stored. The tool does not gather hardware statistics.
      3. What do I need to do?

        1. If you have previously installed the SafeConnect Policy Key Client you will:
          • Automatically be prompted to authenticate to SafeConnect once you open a web browser and navigate to an external web site

            NAC Welcome Image
          • At the login screen, enter your BU login name and Kerberos password, check accept, and click submit
          • That’s it, now you may continue to work as you normally do

        2. If you have NOT previously installed the SafeConnect Policy Key Client you will:
          • Launch a web browser and navigate to your favorite external web site
          • When prompted, authenticate by entering your BU login name and Kerberos password, check accept, and click submit

          • NAC Welcome Image
            NAC Login

          •   When prompted, download and install the SafeConnect Policy Key Client.(Windows Policy Key or Mac Policy Key ).

            NAC Policy Key Download
          • Browse/use your computer as you normally do

      4. Where can I find more information about the SafeConnect project?
        There will be live demos and information sessions scheduled soon.  Check back here for dates and times.
      5. How long will it take me to install the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
        About 1 minute.
      6. I thought NetReg was slow, will SafeConnect be faster?
        SafeConnect will be much faster: users should gain access to the network about 30 seconds after authenticating and installing the Policy Key
      7. How intrusive is SafeConnect?
        User interaction with SafeConnect will be very similar to that with NetReg, with the exception that SafeConnect requires software to be installed on each computer. The Policy Key cannot be used to install software or run scans on your computer; it offers no remote access in any way. The Policy Key is used to provide an answer to yes/no questions for the purpose of validating that security standards are met.
      8. Do I have to use the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
        Yes. All Microsoft Windows PCs and Macintosh computers are required to use the SafeConnect Policy Key to access protected networks. Protected networks currently include: Simulated ResNet Test lab only.

      9. Is the SafeConnect Policy Key Client compatible with my computer system?
        The SafeConnect Policy Key Client is compatible with  Windows XP and up, as well as  Mac OS X Tiger and up. At the present time, Linux and FreeBSD machines are not required to install the Policy Key.
      10. What happens if I uninstall the SafeConnect Policy Key Client?
        You can uninstall SafeConnect Policy Key Client at any time; however within minutes you will then be unable to access University network resources. You will be required to re-install the Policy Key to regain network access.
      11. What if my system is not up-to-date with patches?
        If your system is not up-to-date, it will be quarantined. If quarantined, you will only be able to access to online registration and locations with updates for your operating system, antispyware, and antivirus software.  Once you are up to date, SafeConnect will automatically remove your machine from quarantine.
      12. How do I configure my firewall to permit the SafeConnect Policy Key Client to communicate with SafeConnect server?

        1. Open Security Center
        2. Click manage firewall.
        3. In the new window that is displayed, click the Exception tab,
        4. Click the Add.
        5. Navigate to the Policy Key
        6. Click OK.

      13. Will SafeConnect be configured on the wireless networks?
        Not at this time.  SafeConnect is going to be rolled out over time and will eventually be active on both the University wired and wireless networks.
      14. Will IP addresses change?
        No. We are not requiring any IP address changes, during the implementation phase of the project.
      15. How often will I be asked to re-authenticate?
        You will  be required to log into SafeConnect every 120 days (not yet decided). If, however, another individual logs into the computer after you log out, you will be required to log into SafeConnect when you use that computer again.

      SafeConnect Home

      Statement of Intent

      Privacy

      Troubleshooting

      Last Updated 12/9/2013