by Adam Welsh
On February 29, MCC shut down its “Open Wireless” internet access, closing off internet access to everyone except students, faculty and staff. Many campus users wondered what was happening and for what purpose.
“It’s a security risk, flat out,” said Campus Outreach Coordinator Alex Grigsby of the Business and Technology Campus. “Making sure that the students and employees of the college have secure internet access is nothing short of a rigorously performed task, and with an open door things are bound to get in.”
Users now must use the wireless connection that requires an MCC login.
The college had been discussing the closing of the open wireless for some time, according to Grigsby, and in order for the college’s Information Technology department to conform to current industry standard,s the open wireless needed to be closed.
Justin White, Interim Campus Network Coordinator at BTC, confirmed Grigsby’s explanation for the closure. “It is a lot of different things that all came to a head at once,” White said. “We have needed to shut down the open wireless for numerous reasons, the most important of which is security.” White pointed out that a considerable amount of personal information is on the MCC servers about students, faculty and staff.
“It closes the back door that hackers might have had to access that sensitive information,” White said.
White noted that some issues included neighbors to the campus accessing the open internet to play games, stealing internet bandwidth, and accessing in appropriate pornographic material.
“It’s a good thing that was long overdue, not only to protect the school’s IT infrastructure but to protect its student’s personal information as well,” White said.