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Impulse - Safe-Connect Network Access Control
What is Safe-Connect and why is it being used?
Safe-Connect is a network access control technology the University is using so it can provide wireless network services that comply with UND the Network Access Control and Authenticaion Policy that states:
"All individuals connecting to the campus network (wired, wireless, or remote access), are required to authenticate through the UND network access control system with an ID that tracks back to the individual. Access logs will be retained in accordance with the campus retention policy. Connecting an unauthorized wireless router or access point to the campus network is prohibited. Attempts to bypass circumvent, or defeat the network access control system is prohibited."
Safe-Connect will allow the campus to comply with this policy by requiring users to authenticate with a username and password before allowing them to network access. When you authenticate, the system records which network address you were assigned and how long you used it. That combination of data allows the campus to associate questionable network behavior with a specific user account and the person to whom that account was issued. Your username and password are your keys to the network, don't share them with anyone. You are responsible for all acts performed using your account. If you are concerned that someone may be able to use your account change your password immediately.
Safe-Connect can currently only enforce the configuration requirement on systems running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Client applications are being created for other operating systems. When those clients are available the campus will require their use too.
Please refer to the frequently asked questions page for answers to some specific questions. If you have remaining questions after reviewing the information provided and contact the following departments:
Contact UND Tech Support at 701-6305 or UND.techsupport@email.UND.edu
If you live in the Residence Halls or the UND Apartments, contact the ResNet office at 777-3424
What do I need to do?
First and foremost, you must know your University U-Mail username and password. Your password should be kept secret. Do not ever write it down or share it with anyone. If you haven't already, claim your account here.
Secondly, only if your device is running a Microsoft Windows operating system you will also need to:
- Know if your computer has a personal firewall turned on and add PolicyKey.exe to the exception list
- Turn on the Microsoft Windows automatic update service,
- Have an updated anti-virus application,
- Have the Safe-Connect client application installed and running.
How do I turn on Microsoft Windows Automatic Update?
- Open the Security Center control panel (Start --> Control Panels --> Security Center)
- Click "Automatic Updates"
- Ensure "Automatic" is selected
- Click the OK button to save the settings
As of March 2008, Safe-Connect is able to recognize and verify the following anti-virus applications are installed, updated, and operating. Other anti-virus programs are added routinely.
It is critical that you have only one antivirus program installed on your computer. Having multiple anti-virus programs installed will result in false readings and prevent you from using the network, UND provides McAfee antiviris to all UND students at no charge.
- AVGuard (avira)
- EZ Antivirus
- Microsoft OneCare (essentials + forefront)
- Vipre AV
UND provides McAfee antivirus to all UND students at no charge and if you do not have current antivirus Safe-Connect will prompt you to install McAfee automatically. Many computers come with trial versions of subscription based anti-virus products. If your trial period ends and you do not subscribe and pay the subscription fee you will not receive future updates, your computer will not be protected, and Safe-Connect will not allow your computer to connect to the network.
How do I get and install the Safe-Connect client?
- When you are connected to a network using Safe Connect, installation will start automatically the first time that you connect to a web site on the Internet.
- Follow the prompts presented by the installer to proceed through the installation process.
- The PolicyKey application will be running as a background process and will start automatically each time you start up your computer and connect to a network using Safe Connect.
I have downloaded and installed the Policy Key, but when I try to go online a message says that I need to install the Policy Key.
- Something is preventing the Policy Key from communicating with the Safe Connect server. The most common cause is a firewall or antivirus program denying access. You'll need to make an exception from your firewall configuration to allow internet access for SCClient.exe and SCManager.sys. Another reason may be that the Service is "Hung". In order to rule this out, Click on the Start Icon and select Run then type "services.msc" and click OK. When the Services window opens, look for Safe Connect Manager and click on it. Then in the upper left corner of that same window, click on the "Restart" option. Now check to see if the Safe Connect Manager has changed from "Stopping" to "Started". If this does not work, go to the Control Panel, open Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features...depending on your operating system. Find the Safe Connect software and select Uninstall. Reboot your computer, then re-install the software from the web page that comes up asking you to re-install the Policy Key Software.
- What is probably happening is that your firewall is blocking the Policy Key from communicating with the NAC. What you need to do is add the Policy Key as an exception. To do this, open Security Center and click on "manage firewall". In the new window that comes up, there will be an exceptions tab. Click that tab, and then click the "Add" button. Navigate to the Policy Key and click "OK".
I have my anti-virus installed and up to date, but Safe-Connect still gives me a message either telling me to update it, or that it is not installed at all.
- Do you have two anti-virus programs running together or an old anti-virus program wasn't uninstalled completely. Two anti-virus programs running concurrently will sometimes confuse Safe-Connect into giving a false report of no anti-virus program being present. For this reason, we recommend you use only one anti-virus program and uninstall the other. Also, left over folders, etc, from incompletely removed anti-virus programs can have a similar effect on Safe-Connect. If you formerly were using a different anti-virus application, you can try uninstalling again, using the old installer. If this doesn't work, you can contact UND Tech Support or ResNet for help removing the program.
- The anti-virus program you are using isn't recognized by Safe Connect. Click HERE for a list of anti-virus programs recognized by Safe Connect.
What am I allowed to access when quarantined?
Places you need to fix your computer and get out of quarantine, like Anti-Virus Software and Microsoft Windows Update Services.
Can I download operating system software security updates while quarantined by Impulse Safe-Connect?
Yes. Any Windows Updates your system needs can be downloaded and installed while you are in quarantine mode. The same applies to virus definitions for the campus provided antivirus solution.
When I run Windows Update Services, I get a message stating that the product key used to install windows is invalid. Why?
Windows Update will fail if your Windows Operating System is not properly licensed. You must have a legal copy of the operating system to connect to the university network. Please contact Microsoft or your PC manufacturer with questions.
Do I have to use the Impulse Policy Key?
Yes. All Microsoft Windows PCs and Macintosh computers are required to use the Impulse Policy Key to ensure a safe computing environment for all and it is required for network access.
What happens if I do not wait for the Evaluation Page, or open another browser window before the 30 second Evaluation Page has completed?
If you continuously see the University page, you did not let the Evaluation properly finish. You should close the browser and re-open it and that should fix the issue, If not, may need to logout or restart your computer . Then Log back in and wait until the screen clears the 30 second Evaluation page and sends you to the Intranet page. At that point, you will able to browse without any issues.
Why can I not get away from the UND Home Page?
Typically, Internet Explorer is not releasing cached web pages properly. In order to change this, open Internet Explorer and follow the steps below:
- Go to the top and select "Tools".
- Select "Internet Options".
- On the "General" tab, in the middle section where it specifies "Temporary Internet Files", click on "Settings".
- Click on "Every visit to the page".
- Change the amount of disk space used to 10.
- Click "OK".
- Click "OK" again.
- Close then re-open browser.
- If Menu Bar is not showing, look in the upper right corner for "Tools" and select "Menu Bar".
- Once the Menu Bar is visible, follow the same steps for IE 6 to make the appropriate changes.
What happens if I uninstall the Impulse Policy Key?
You can uninstall Impulse Policy Key at any time; however within minutes you will then be unable to access the Internet through a campus network running Impulse Safe-Connect. You will be required to reinstall the Policy Key as if you are a new user to gain Internet access.
How do I know the Impulse Policy Key is running?
On Windows machines with Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you can right-click any blank space on the task bar at the bottom of your screen and select the option "Task Manager". When the Windows Task Manager appears, click the "Processes" tab and look for the process "SCClient.exe". Mac OS users can open the Activity Monitor located in the Utilities folder. From the Activity Monitor look for the process Policy Key
Is the Impulse Policy Key compatible with my system?
The Impulse Policy Key is compatible with and required for Windows Systems. At the present time, Linux, and FreeBSD machines are not required to install the Policy Key.
What does the Impulse Policy Key actually do?
The Impulse Policy Key continuously validates that your system has the minimum security software running and up-to-date as per the school's acceptable use policy.
What are these selected applications?
Once the Impulse Policy Key is enabled, we will require that your Windows Automatic Updater is running. You must also have running anti-virus software installed with the most current definitions available. It is a suggestion, but not a requirement to have anti-spyware installed and running.
What are the benefits?
The Impulse Policy Key is part of UND's effort to help you keep your computers as free as possible from viruses, spyware, and operating system security holes. Machines protected in this way generally perform much better and require much less downtime due to damage caused by malicious software. Also, the Impulse Policy Key can help to ensure that the average user has the fastest possible browsing experience while connected to the University's network. It does this by ensuring that communication from malicious software does not flood the University's internet connection, resulting in much slower connections for legitimate users or by restricting certain applications that would otherwise consume an unfairly large share of the Universites bandwidth, again resulting in a slower connection for the majority of users.
What if my system is not up-to-date?
If your system has been determined not to be up-to-date, your computer will be "quarantined." While quarantined, you will still have access to update servers for your operating system and campus provided anti-virus software.
What about my privacy?
Your privacy is important to us. The Impulse Policy Key scans only for Windows update services compliance, anti-virus and anti-spyware status. No user data is collected or stored.
How do I Log Out if I'm in a Lab or in the Library?
Click the logout of Safe Connect link at the top of this page or restart the computer.
I've been asked to login more then once. Why?
Though the system is configured for a one time login, you may be asked to re-authenticate periodically. The most common reason for this is if your computer has been off the network for some time and lost its IP address lease.
What are the things that Impulse Safe Connect checks for?
Authentication: Required after logoff, shutdown or restart of your computer.
Policy Key: If on Windows or Mac versions 10.3 and higher and does not have policy key installed, immediate quarantine.
Anti-Virus software: Immediate quarantine if not installed, running, and up-to-date.
NAT: If you have a device, such as a wireless/wired router, doing NAT, immediate quarantine.
OS Patch Level: Quarantine if Windows Update is not set to automatically download and install all updates.
Anti-Spyware: (Anti-Spyware is only recommended)
Firewall: (Firewall is only recommended)
What Firewalls are currently supported?
The Following Applications are supported, but not required at this time:
- Sunbelt Kerio
- Microsoft Firewall
- Zone Alarm
- Norton Internet Security
- Cisco Security Agent
What Anti-Spyware programs are currently supported?
The Following Applications are supported, but not required at this time:
- AVG Anti-Spyware
- Counter Spy
- McAfee Anti-Spyware
- Sophos Anti-Spyware
- Spy Sweeper
- ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware
If you have remaining questions after reviewing this information, contact the following departments:
Contact UND Tech Support by phone at 701-777-6305 or by email at UND.techsupport@email.UND.edu. If you live in the Residence Halls or the UND Apartments, contact the ResNet office at 777-3424
Please give them as much information as possible and be sure to include your name, a valid contact number, your email address, and as detailed of a description of the problem as possible.