Pulse Secure VPN - Hostchecker FAQ

What is the Host Checker?

The Host Checker is part of UNH's VPN system. It is an additional component to the Pulse Secure client. Its function is to assess the secure posture of the connecting client computer. In doing so, it will check for the existence of certain programs, settings, and configurations. In other words, Host Checker makes sure your computer meets certain security requirements when you try to access secured data via the VPN. The Host Checker is only applicable to Windows and Mac operating systems at this time.

The Host Checker does *not* look for "bad" programs or files. It verifies that your computer has appropriate protections in place, such as anti-virus.
The Host Checker also does *not* limit what operating systems can be used any further than than the limits created by the Pulse client itself, but it may restrict older versions of operating systems.
What is Host Checking looking for?
Host Checker looks for different things, depending on what type of computer you're using and the resources to which you have access. Potential checks include (at the time of the initial Host Checker rollout, the focus is on the first two items):
  • Anti-Virus (more detail later)
  • Client-side Firewall
  • Operating System patching settings
  • Data Loss Prevention software (such as Identity Finder)
  • Disk Encryption

What happens if I fail my Host Checker assessment?

Assessment failure can prevent access to certain secure resources. It will not prevent access to the campus in general. Access to email and support resources will remain in place.

How can I make my anti-virus compliant with Host Checker?

Information about campus support anti-virus can be found in the UNH Campus Virus Protection KB article.

The Host Checker is looking to validate the following settings in your anti-virus program.
  • That anti-virus is installed.
  • That your anti-virus is reasonably up-to-date.
  • That active (real-time) protection is enabled.
Note: The Host Checker does not require a specific anti-virus program; numerous programs are recognized.
If you are using System Endpoint Protection (SCEP) you can follow one of these documents for step-by-step instructions.

What do I need to know about firewall settings and Host Checker?

The only check related to host-based (client-side) firewall settings is that your firewall is active. To turn on your Windows firewall, see these instructions.

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Article ID: 863
Fri 7/19/19 5:39 PM
Mon 8/17/20 3:40 PM