PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) Service: Meeting Health Check Requirements | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) Service: Meeting Health Check Requirements

Overview

The PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) session establishes an internet connection from your remote computer to the University network as a trusted device. To reduce the chances of an infected computer passing viruses via this connection, a Health Check reviews configuration settings on your computer each time it connects to Network Connect. If the requirements are not met, the computer is at a greater risk of being infected and will be denied access to Network Connect. In order to pass Health Check, your computer must meet the following criteria:  

  • Operating system is Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. 
    Note: Macintosh and Linux systems pass the Health Check.
  • Microsoft Automatic Software Update is turned on, so you can receive the latest security patches.
  • A compatible antivirus software program is installed (see the Appendix below).
    Note:  Symantec Endpoint Protection is the University’s recommended and officially supported Antivirus solution. It can be downloaded at no cost via the Software Download Service at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu)
  • A software firewall must be installed and enabled on your computer.

Microsoft Automatic Software Updates

Your computer must be configured to automatically check for and install Microsoft Automatic Software Updates. The updates are released by Microsoft on the second Tuesday of every month, and address security vulnerabilities and bug fixes for Microsoft products.

Use the following steps to configure your computer to receive automatic updates:

Windows 10

Automatic updates are enabled by default in Windows 10, and the Pulse Health Check requires that all important updates be installed. You should not disable these updates, as it could cause problems with the Health Check.

Windows 8.1

1.  From the Start menu, type in the words Control Panel from the Windows 8.1 "tiled" desktop, then select Control Panel from the results that are displayed.
2.  Double-click on the System and Security settings option for your machine:

Windows 7 and 8 System and Security Icon3.  Click Windows Update.

System and Security Options4.  Select Change settings in the upper left-hand corner.

Windows Update Settings

5.  Any of the automatic options are acceptable. However, it is recommended that users select Automatic with installation on a daily schedule. The default time for installation is 3:00 a.m., but it can be set to any time that is convenient for you.Windows Update Installation Options

Pitt IT also offers an automatic update service that can be downloaded from the Software Download Service at My Pitt. Information on the service, software download, and configuration are available here.

 

Antivirus Protection

Symantec Endpoint Protection is the officially supported antivirus solution at the University of Pittsburgh. It is also the recommended antivirus solution for use with the PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) service. Students, faculty, and staff can download SEP at no cost through the Software Download Service at My Pitt.

LiveUpdate is a critical component of SEP. This feature is activated by default during installation and checks regularly for the latest antivirus and anti-spyware definitions available from Symantec.

The appendix at the end of this document lists a number of other antivirus programs that should pass the PittNet VPN Service’s Health Check. If you are not able to connect using these antivirus programs, we recommend you install Symantec Endpoint Protection.

 

Personal Firewalls

A personal firewall is a software application used to protect your computer against intruders when the computer is connected to the network. The firewall can be configured to control network connections to and from your computer, filtering traffic that comes into or leaves your computer, and alerting you to attempted intrusions.

Health Check verifies that firewalls are installed and activated on your computer, including products from Black Ice, McAfee, and Norton. If you don't have a personal firewall on your computer, you can use the Windows Firewall that is built into Windows 8.1 and 10. To enable a firewall:

Windows 10:

Instructions for enabling Microsoft Defender Firewall for WIndows 10 can be found here:

Windows 8.1:

1.  From the Start menu, type in the words Control Panel from the Windows 8.1 "tiled" desktop. Then select Control Panel from the results that are displayed.
2.  Double-click on the Systems and Security settings option for your machine:

Windows 7 and 8 System and Security Icon3.  Click on Windows Firewall.

Windows 7 and 8 System and Security Options

4.  Select the Turn Windows Firewall on or off link to get the settings page.

Windows Firewall Settings

 5.  Select Turn on Windows Firewall for both private and public location settings and click on OK.

Windows Firewall Customize Settings

Note: The 24/7 IT Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your technology-related questions. Questions can also be submitted via the web at technology.pitt.edu.

 

Appendix: Antivirus Tools (Products and Versions) Compatible with the Health Check

Symantec Endpoint Protection is the officially supported Antivirus solution at the University of Pittsburgh. It is also the recommended antivirus solution for use with the PittNet VPN service. It can be downloaded at no cost from the Software Download Service at My Pitt.

The vendor of the PittNet VPN Service confirms that each of the following antivirus products will also pass the Health Check:

Note: If you are not able to connect using the most recently updated version of these antivirus programs, we recommend you install and use Symantec Endpoint Protection.

  • AVG Antivirus
  • AVG Internet Security
  • AVG Internet Security Busieness Edition
  • BitDefender Total Security
  • BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition
  • Emisoft
  • Avast! Free Antivirus
  • ESET
  • Forticlient
  • McAfee AntiVirus Plus
  • McAfee Endpoint Security
  • McAfee Internet Security
  • McAfee LiveSafe
  • McAfee Total Protection
  • McAfee VirusScan
  • Microsoft Defender
  • Microsoft Forefront Client Security
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Norton 360
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Sophos Endpoint Security and Control
  • Sophos Home
  • TrendMicro
  • VIPRE Internet Security
  • VIPRE Business Process
  • Webroot
  • Windows Defender