Loughborough University deploys new network security to enable greater data throughput

BYOD means greater network demands at the university

Loughborough University is deploying a new network security platform to enable greater data throughput and meet students' internet access demands.

The university said its previous security infrastructure wasn't able to efficiently process the number of data packets that were sent through the network perimeter, while maintaining consistent security.

Matthew Cook, head of infrastructure and middleware at Loughborough University, said: "With the use of connected devices increasing fourfold in the past 12 months, we recognised we needed a solution that would accommodate the growing BYOD (bring your own device) trend among students.

"Most importantly, the solution needed to meet students' internet data and traffic throughput expectations while keeping security levels high."

To meet these expectations Loughborough University worked with cyber security company Khipu Networks to identify alternatives.

Now, with a new Palo Alto Networks security platform being deployed, the university says it will be able to provide "more than adequate" perimeter throughput for academic learning, teaching and research, as well as support for the numerous mobile devices that students use on campus for both study and personal activities.

By carrying out a successful network trial Loughborough University received extra visibility into how and when it needed to make adjustments to its network, through the Palo Alto Networks individual application classification capability.

With the solution now being installed Loughborough University says it is confident that it can provide "uncontended" study and research network resource access, as well as offering the best recreational online experience levels to its students.

Niraj Kacha, senior IT services specialist at Loughborough University, said: "The previous perimeter infrastructure wasn't able to process the number of data packets that were sent through the network, while maintaining consistent security levels.

"The Palo Alto Networks security platform with its advanced intrusion-detection capabilities accommodates our scalability and security requirements."

Last year, Loughborough University deployed 400 virtual desktops as part of plans to support BYOD among staff and to cut IT maintenance costs.

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