ANSecurity successfully delivered a major upgrade project for an Oxford College to meet the remote studying and connectivity needs for 650 staff and students while strengthening its security posture in response to the increased threat of cyber-attacks.
The College supports network connectivity to 10 sites including its main campus and various accommodation sites across the city. With the pandemic forcing a lock-down at the start of 2020, the College decided it needed to upgrade its network to better support remote studying and connectivity for students with its managed accommodation.
“The pandemic forced us to adopt almost 100% remote working and studying with only a few weeks’ notice,” explains, Head of IT for the College. “However, we were conscious that although time was of the essence, it was clear that we needed to strengthen our security posture especially since we had seen several other academic establishments targeted by ransomware attacks in recent years.”
The college contacted ANSecurity, an IT specialist that had delivered several successful projects for other Oxford Colleges for assistance. “The first task for ANSecurity was a full security review of every element within the College infrastructure. From this, we created a priority list of issues we needed to address urgently alongside the planned upgrade of the network to deliver the connectivity needed for remote access,” explains college.
ANSecurity also conducted a Wi-Fi site review and designed a new network architecture to boost connectivity across all residential sites across the campus. This included network segmentation and personalised VPN that made it easier for students to use personal devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home assistants within their accommodation blocks. To assist with remote working, ANSecurity upgraded the existing firewalls with a newer Fortinet solution with integral VPN. This was supported by the implementation of a cloud-based managed platform to provide granular control and visibility of the WiFi controllers and access points at each site. Finally, ANSecurity helped setup a vulnerability scanning and log management solution to help the Hertford IT team to better assess its security posture and detect any emerging issues.
“For us cyber security is a continuous process and the projects we have carried out with ANSecurity over the last year are a key part of that,” explains college.