Education Expands Use of 4G LTE
University campuses are a lot like mini-cities — offering many of the same services and facing similar security challenges.
Many universities have their own police departments, bus systems, restaurants, entertainment complexes, stores, gyms, libraries, classrooms, laboratories, sports complexes, power and electrical supply facilities, and housing units. All of these require Internet connectivity.
The problem with this saturation of connected locations and services is how adept hackers have become at “pivoting” from seemingly unimportant areas of the network into parts containing sensitive data. It’s true for businesses, as evidenced by many recent data breaches, and it’s true in higher education.
It’s why many universities are moving away from the traditional monolithic network architecture. They’re taking Point-of-Sale and other applications off the main network with options such as Parallel Networking and “Bring Your Own Network.”
Parallel Networking to Keep In-House Services Secure — Some colleges are able to run their campus services more cost-effectively in-house, but there are challenges — especially if all services are on the same network.
Operations such as bookstores, administrative offices, student centers, and cafés have their own specific networking security needs. Bookstores and cafés must keep POS data safe from hackers. The administrative office wants to protect academic records from students attempting to electronically change their grades.
Some schools choose to install cable or a T1 line to each on-campus location — a safe but costly approach. Increasingly, schools are utilizing Cradlepoint 4G LTE Parallel Networking solutions to physically segment enterprise networks into security zones and mitigate risks to protect sensitive data from being compromised. Parallel Networking combines the strengths of wired and wireless for WAN Diversity, which is the convergence of 4G LTE, Ethernet (DSL, Cable, T1, MetroE) and WiFi as WAN — all delivered through a single networking device.
Outsourcing Services and Security — Instead of handling on-campus services in-house, many colleges and universities outsource all services not directly associated with learning — everything from the cafeteria and campus security to vendors at sporting events. It separates all Point-of-Sale endeavors from the main campus network.
Vendors who take over these services are asked to “Bring Their Own Network,” and they have two choices: run wire or go wireless. Choosing the wired-line solution can be more expensive and puts the university at the mercy of the cable company’s installation schedule.
With a cost-effective Cradlepoint wireless solution, vendors can quickly and easily deploy their devices — without involving a third-party installation company — and move them around as needed. Further, the availability of pooled data plans can provide key cost savings.
Centralized Cloud Management — Considering the scope of networking on a university campus, Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager is a good option for significant time and money savings at many universities and colleges. IT teams can remotely configure and deploy devices, upgrade firmware, monitor Internet usage, and manage security at multiple sites — all from a central office.
Connectivity is Important to Current and Prospective Students — Students, faculty, administration, and staff require always-on connectivity all over campus — all day long. It’s important for prospective students, too. On a tour of the school, young adults want assurance that activities such as writing a paper, buying books, or grabbing a bite to eat won’t be stalled by network downtime or slow connection speeds.
Wireless connectivity through Cradlepoint solutions enables colleges and universities to keep data separate and secure, to guarantee uninterrupted learning, and to give students the overall campus experience they dreamed of.