Today, Stonehill runs Proventia Desktop software from Internet Security Systems (ISS); when a student's laptop is infected, no malicious traffic can leave it, and any malicious traffic floating on the network is flagged before it reaches a PC. "Intrusion prevention just at the edge of your network is not sufficient,'' says Hammon. Rather than searching for a hard-coded signature like traditional antivirus software, the intrusion prevention system captures and quarantines suspicious programs, freeing only the innocent ones. Hammon established a default so that when students connect to the network, they are led directly to the ISS product download. These days, Hammon sees as many as 70,000 attempted network attacks in one day. So far, though, Stonehill computers remain safe. As for ROI, Hammon could calculate the number of potential hours spent trying to develop virus removal tools. But instead he returns to the mobile workforce analogy: "Here's the ROI: Can the workers -- or students -- do their jobs every day?" Problem solved.
Ellen O'Brien, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a senior editor at Storage magazine. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in April 2006