What Every College Can Learn from Long Beach City College About Safeguarding the Network

Reports of Universities and colleges attacked by modern day threats are becoming commonplace. A survey by San Francisco-based OpenDNS found that education institutions in US and Europe are 300 percent more likely to house malware in their networks than enterprise and government networks.

Universities lend themselves to being easy targets due to their open structure and long periods of information retention.  Hackers of college networks are not looking for financial benefits. But given the open global collaboration that happens in research communities, hackers are looking to make potential in-roads to other information networks.

With modern day students taking their personal laptops, tablets, smartphones off school grounds and connecting the devices via unsecure WiFi networks, additional avenues for threats are introduced to college networks. As college education begins to grow beyond campus boundaries, it is important for college networks to scale in both performance and security capabilities.

Recently, we had a webcast and our guest speaker, Arne Nystrom, the senior network administrator from Long Beach City College, provided many valuable insights on the effectiveness of the Dell SonicWALL security solution put in place at Long Beach City College. Long Beach City College has served students and the community of Long Beach, California, since 1927. Arne Nystrom found that the college had outgrown its Cisco® ASA solution and needed something more powerful with better performance and high availability. He was looking to upgrade his college’s network with a modern firewall with security services that could block emerging forms of hacking, malware and intrusions. Arne’s situation is extremely similar to what several of Network Administrators at college networks are facing today.

Aside from the modern day threats, network administrators of colleges today are faced with multiple challenges including:

  • Budget constraints
  • High network performance with uncompromised security
  • High availability of networks
  • Effective threat prevention
  • Network bandwidth management
  • Compliance reporting requirements

To satisfy the requirements of a college network, an integrated multi-layer threat protection approach is essential. First, the end points (such as laptops, tablets, etc.) should be protected by enforcing security services such as Content Filtering Client, Enforced Client Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware and secure access from the client to the school network. Second, a best-in-class next-generation firewall that integrates the deep packet inspection security features such as Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS), SSL Inspection, Content Filtering, Gateway Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware, Anti-Spam service, and Application Intelligence & Control with real-time Application visualization support must be put in place. Last an ongoing 24×7 threat monitoring and protection of the networks is needed to ward off the new emerging threats.

The Dell SonicWALL Next Generation Firewall based security solution provides an integrated approach to addressing all the requirements of a typical college network. 

Listen to our recent webcast and learn from Arne Nystrom as he talks about how Dell SonicWALL’s SuperMassive 9400 & NSA 6600 next-generation firewalls with centralized management (GMS) provide the comprehensive gateway security that protects Long Beach City College’s networks against sophisticated emerging threats – https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/1745/117305

About the Author: Sathya Thammanur