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U Nottingham Deploys Internet Security and Filtering Appliance

The University of Nottingham has deployed a Web security appliance from Finjan to protect its two primary networks, one with 12,000 university-owned computers used for teaching, research, and administration and the other supporting 8,000 student-owned PCs.

The university has multiple gigabit connections to a regional metropolitan area network, which in turn connects it to the UK Joint Academic Network (JANET). Following an evaluation by the school's information services organization, it opted for Finjan's NG8000. This hardware appliance provides centralized management for Web content scanning and anti-virus through multiple scanning blades. The Finjan solution has been integrated with the school's existing Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) load balancer.

"Increases in Web-borne attacks mean that traditional signature-based anti-virus software alone is not enough and can't give us the protection we need against new and evolving malware threats. Students are often heavy users of social networking and other collaborative Web 2.0 enabled sites which require more proactive threat detection and prevention techniques," said Paul Kennedy, security & compliance group leader at the university. "During the initial deployment we were able to identify a number of threats to the network that had previously been difficult to detect. Active content scanning gives us an additional tool... for detecting and preventing crimeware attacks against university data and members' personal information."

The IS security staff manages activity via co-hosted policy server blades. These "all-in-one" appliances run Finjan's content inspection utility, Vulnerability Anti.dote, and anti-spyware engines, as well as McAfee's anti-virus engine. The deployment covers the university's five main campuses and nine satellite sites, including campus data centers, staff desktops, student laptops, shared access computer rooms, and laboratory equipment.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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