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Remote Access: Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Also known as: Virtual Private Network (VPN); VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Available to: Students, Faculty & Staff
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a remote access service that creates a virtual connection between an internet user and a trusted network. A VPN is used to provide an additional layer of security for remote access or to provide virtual presence on a network.
Mason currently operates an enterprise VPN based on Cisco’s Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). It offers both VPN functions, providing virtual presence to the general university community and secure access for designated staff to access select administrative systems.
VPN service for virtual presence is available to all university students, faculty, and staff.
As of 2016, use of the VPN is required when accessingspecific applications or systems from off-campus locations, and sometimes via either wired or wireless on-campus wireless locations Examples of these systems include: Internet Native Banner and Travel Request System.
As of August 2016,Mason will begin using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when accessing the VPN using Cisco AnyConnect. Information on 2FA may be found at http://2fa.gmu.edu.This service is limited to users who have approval to access Mason’s online systems and services remotely.
All users of Mason’s enterprise VPN must adhere to:
- University Policy Number 1301: Responsible Use of Computing
Faculty and Staff members must also adhere to:
- University Policy Number 2202: Flexible Work
- Virginia Information Technologies Agency’s (VITA)Information Technology Standard Use of Non-Commonwealth Computing Devices to Telework
How to Get this Service
To access the VPN on university-managed computers (MESA or Casper), you will need to use the Cisco AnyConnect client. The client is available on all university-managed computers in the Software Center (MESA) or Applications Menu (Casper). If you are not using a university-managed computer, you will first need to download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client. For Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, download the client from the IT Services Downloads page. For iOS or Android devices, install the Cisco AnyConnect client through the appropriate app store.
Follow these instructions to ensure you have the Cisco AnyConnect client
Once installed, enter your desired the URL for your VPN group in the format “vpn.gmu.edu/<group>” If you do not know your specific VPN group or do not have one, you may enter “vpn.gmu.edu” and click Connect. Select “GENERAL” from the Group list and login with your NetID and Patriot Pass password. See VPN Groups for additional information and how to determine your group.
For complete instructions for accessing and using the VPN, visit the Using 2FA with Cisco AnyConnect VPN.
Special VPN Cases
In special cases, employees may require secure remote access to select administrative systems specific to their business unit or department. In this instance, employees should check with their technical point of contact for further details on VPN Groups. Non-employees requiring remote access must be sponsored by a Mason department or business unit and qualified by Human Resources. Upon qualification, accounts will be created for these individuals. Departments should engage their HR liaison to begin this process.
There is no charge for this service.
This service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages, normal maintenance windows, and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. but may be extended to 2 p.m., if needed. If maintenance is required outside of these hours, it will be announced on the Planned Outages web page.
Assistance for all IT Services is available through the ITS Support Center:
|Online:||Submit a Request|
|Hours of Operation:||Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.|
|Walk-in Support |
|Innovation Hall, Room 226|
Monday thru Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(*closed Thursdays 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. for team meetings)
Issues should be responded to within the time limits set for the SDE Urgency field.
Last modified date: August 1, 2014