University removes outer firewall to improve security

Summary:Sydney's Macquarie University recently spent AU$1 million upgrading its network security and found the best solution was to remove the perimeter firewall.Last year, the university performed an audit of its security systems and found several weaknesses in its network infrastructure.

Sydney's Macquarie University recently spent AU$1 million upgrading its network security and found the best solution was to remove the perimeter firewall.

Last year, the university performed an audit of its security systems and found several weaknesses in its network infrastructure. It immediately issued a tender and eventually chose a solution from Nortel and channel partner 3D Networks that would remove the university's perimeter firewall and instead fence off the network core.

Macquarie University's infrastructure services manager Peter Hole described the final solution as "elegant".

"The solution is elegant in its simplicity. By placing a firewall at the network core rather than the edge and routing all traffic through the firewall, we're simultaneously protected from external and internal threats," said Hole in a statement.

According to Hole, the University's network needed to be secure enough to protect vast quantities of intellectual property as well as maintaining access for 30,000 students.

"Macquarie is world renowned as a research institution, and we store a large amount of sensitive research and commercially viable data on our network," said Hole. "We have the dual challenge of creating an environment that fosters experimentation and learning while protecting against unauthorised traffic originating from our users".

Nortel's ANZ president Mark Stevens, said that University networks often require solutions that are not available off-the-shelf: "Universities pose a particular security challenge that's not always easy to solve with traditional network equipment or off-the-shelf security products".

Topics: Security, Government : AU

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Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.Munir was recognised as Austr... Full Bio

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