Federal law requires schools to monitor network traffic

Sitting down this morning with a much needed cup of coffee I was alerted to this startling post from a cNet news feed.

“Thursday is the deadline for colleges and universities that receive Title IV federal aid to have implemented antipiracy procedures on their campuses as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) ” – cnet

UPDATE 3/22/2016: I wanted to update this post and reflect how campuses have been dealing with copyright infringement since then. As recent as last month Virginia Tech posted an article on how and what they monitor for on campus. The article goes on to say “As long as you don’t seed, you won’t get caught,” and goes on to quote another Virginia Tech student who torrents. “You typically can download a lot of data and not be detected because they can’t tell what’s being downloaded; they just know you’re downloading a lot.”

With flow technology (NetFlow/IPFIX), campuses can obtain the visibility that you are required to have without the heavy weight or costs of other methods. With technology like Identity Aware NetFlow you have the ability to track users in DHCP environments where IP addresses can change frequently.  Other additions are the ability to identify the traffic down to a username if that is something that is collected.  You can also employ NetFlow on the Wireless Lan Controllers.

Best of all, you have this visibility across the network.


Here is the original post ->

I was speechless, which for me is quite an astounding feat. So many thoughts ran around in my head but in the end only one thing came out of my mouth, “theres an app for that!”.  Scrutinizer and NetFlow can easily help schools monitor for this type of traffic. Heck! It was one of the things Scrutinizer was built for. Understanding how users consume your networks bandwidth is important in today’s world. Laws like this make monitoring your traffic a requirement. Matter of fact, it can be quite costly if you don’t.

As I mentioned Scrutinizer is well suited to assist in this task. NetFlow gives you the flexibility to monitor all of your network traffic from one central location. Scrutinizer allows you to filter your data into meaningful, easy to swallow  reports that tell you who was doing what, where and when. It doesn’t stop there.

Scrutinizers filtering engine allows you to customize how you view your data . Scrutinizer then gives you the ability to add a threshold to that report . Now you have a customized monitoring tool.  I created a quick video that explain . . . .

But that report only looks for high bandwidth consumption,  file sharing traffic can be small and and almost undetectable. In applications that don’t store all of the NetFlow traffic this is true.  Scrutinizer stores all of your NetFlow data which gives our Flow Analytics engine the ability to  monitor all of your network traffic and alert you on suspicious traffic patterns. You guessed it, one of the monitoring algorithms is P2P. How fitting! . Flow Analytics also allows you to easily identify Top Applications, Conversations, Flows, Protocols, Domains, Countries, Subnets, etc. across dozens of routers and switches.

Do you have NetFlowV9 and NBAR? We are one of the only vendors that support this technology completely.  NBAR stands for  “Network Based Application Recognition”  and is the mechanism used by some Cisco routers and switches to recognize a dataflow by inspecting some packets sent. With NBAR you are going to be able to get a definitive answer on what applications are being used on your network. Scrutinizer supports it, reports on it and most importantly alerts on it!

I’ve shown you a few of the ways Scrutinizer can help you meet the needs of this new law. There are quite a few other important features so make sure to download a copy of Scrutinizer and kick the tires for 30 days.




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