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April 2003

Exposing and addressing wireless security concerns

They may be among the nation's "best and brightest," but the 700 students and 13,000 instructors, researchers, residents and interns at Harvard Medical School in Boston were creating a huge headache for its IT department. We recognized the need for security before we ever deployed wireless. Joe Bruno, Harvard Medical School Students, staff and faculty wanted to use wireless-enabled devices, be it to e-mail a friend on a lunch break or to download a journal article for a lecture. But nobody seemed to use the same platform or operating system. High turnover and a decentralized population made security that much tougher. Pass the aspirin, please. "This is a very demanding community. It's important we do the right things the right way," says Joe Bruno, associate dean for IT at the nation's No. 1 medical school. "That may sound like a simple statement, but, for sure, there's a lot involved in it." Bruno is far from alone. All over the country, college campuses, large and small, are building WLANs to meet staff and student demand and ...

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