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Q: What is Cisco NAC?

A: Cisco NAC is a solution provided by Cisco, Inc. that performs network validation. The software performs the following functions:

  • Requires authentication to the NIU Network
  • Validates whether the system connecting to the network meets the minimum security requirements.
  • Temporarily quarantines the system until it meets the minimum security standards.
  • Provides temporary access to NIU websites and the Windows Update services
  • Once the system meets the requirements, it will allow access to the NIU Network

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Q: Why Cisco NAC?

A: Student machines are introduced to the campus that potentially contain harmful viruses and malware. On move-in weekend in particular, worms and viruses attempt to spread to unpatched/vulnerable machines. ResTech and ITS determined that the best way to prevent this from happening is to insure that virus software and Operating System critical update/patches are current and maintained.

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Q: How do I get Cisco NAC?

A: Plug in your residence hall room ethernet connection and launch a web browser which will redirect to a web page that instructs the user to download and install the Cisco NAC client. Once logged into Cisco NAC, it will notify the user which requirements they will need to meet.

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Q: What validation checks are being performed?

A: Cisco NAC is configured to validate the following:

  • Automatic Updates is enabled
  • Current Windows Critical Updates
  • Windows Firewall enabled
  • Anti-virus software allowed by NIU is installed
  • Anti-virus software is updated with latest virus definitions

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Q: Can I use my XBOX, Nintendo, and/or Playstation?

A: Yes! These devices are automatically allowed to join the NIU Network without going through Cisco NAC. Nintendo DS and Sony PSP units cannot access the wireless in the residence halls, but look for updates released by their manufacturers as they continue to improve their products and make them compatible with more systems.

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Q: What operating systems can be used?

  • Windows XP - Any version
  • Windows Vista - Any version
  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS X - Any version
  • Linux/BSD - Any distribution

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Q: How often will Cisco NAC revalidate?

A: We have configured the validation to take place every 30 days at 5am.

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