Grammar school replaces point solutions with UTM appliance

Boasts two-gigabit-per-second firewall

Following a review of its infrastructure, the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) is replacing a mix of point solutions with two unified threat management network security appliances.

The Shore's IT network serves 1,600 students and connects 800 personal computers across the five hectare North Sydney campus.

This includes classroom blocks, administrative offices, a library, the Information Technology Centre, lecture theatres, an auditorium and the school's assembly hall.

Shore has selected two WatchGuard x5500e Peak security appliances after working closely with distributor Nexux to determine the most effective combination of products.

After reviewing a number of products, Shore selected WatchGuard based on its functionality, ease of management across content management, anti-virus, spam filtering and reporting.

The WatchGuard appliances will replace Shore's existing network of point solutions in a strategy designed to simplify costs, management and training.

The Peak appliances offer zero day protection out of the box, with up to two-gigabit-per-second firewall throughput.

This provides Shore with full proxy firewall capabilities to prevent attacks from outside of the network as well as viruses, worms, or spyware being brought in knowingly or unknowingly by internal users.

In addition, the WatchGuard's suite of security services will help boost protection in critical attack areas, including intrusion prevention.

The solution's real-time monitoring component will also allow the school's IT administrator to troubleshoot problems instantaneously and ensure that they are diagnosing the correct issues.

Centralised management will also enable Shore to enforce security policies across all locations and users.

Increasingly, where security has typically been an issue of keeping external threats away from the network and protecting student information, schools have seen a significant shift to include the protection of private information and network integrity from users within the network.

The term unified threat management (UTM) was first coined by IDC analyst Charles Kolodgy about five years ago.

It helped define an emerging class of network appliances that offered integrated security applications on the same box - that is hardware, software and networking technologies combined.

Kolodgy said UTM was driven by customers seeking to reduce the number of vendors they have and also the need for more centralized management.

Initially, UTM appliances were popular in the small to medium business sector but with increased interest from the enterprise, analysts are now labelling the products "next generation security platforms."

Established in 1996, WatchGuard Technologies competes with the likes of SonicWall, Fortinet, Crossbeam Systems, Astaro, Check Point, Cisco and Juniper.

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