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Configure Visual Studio for use on a school network

    Question

  • I am looking for advice on the real risks of setting up Visual Studio for use on a school network.  We would like to install Visual studio to use with our Computer Science learners.

    Since 2012 we have typically used Python as our primary programming language; however  I would like to use C# in addition to Python for a number of reasons.

    1. Offering a comparison between a dynamically and statically type language
    2. The chance to use Unity3D at our school
    3. Easier pathway for mobile app development

    The problem I face is that the IT department consider the installation of Visual studio to be a security risk.  Primary reasons cited include:

    • Running executable files would get around software restrictions and allow youngsters to run anything they want
    • Network exploitation
    • Running malicious code (such as brute forcing passwords etc)

    My argument to the above has been that network restrictions and group policies should limit any potential risk to at most a single machine if configured correctly.  I also argue that any of the above is possible with our existing Python installation as interpreted languages can pose just the same risks as compiled.

    I do not claim to be the expert in this situation; however also feel that decisions are being driven by fear, rather than technical reasons and facts.  Can anyone offer any advice, guidance or share experiences that might help the argument either way.  

    Friday, April 1, 2016 9:08 AM

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