University Excels in Education with WatchGuard
Finis Terrae University prides itself on “training professionals of excellence by forming a community that seeks truth, learns and teaches.” The Finis Terrae University is a Catholic higher education institution and is part of the Educational Institutions of the Regnum Christi Movement. With four campuses, there are more than 10,000 students accessing the Internet every day. The biggest concern was that the servers located in the main campus could be hacked again by the same students who wrongfully gained access via the former Cisco Access Points. The university needed a solution that provided better security and support at a fraction of the cost of its previous Cisco deployment. Patricio Lancellotti Nuñez, Head of IT Operations, remarked: “We evaluated different solutions in the market and WatchGuard was the one that best satisfied our needs.”
The university evaluated other network security vendors including additional Cisco offerings, and other access point solutions from Aruba and Ubiquity. When comparing all potential vendors, including WatchGuard, they had three evaluation criteria: technology, cost and support. WatchGuard was the only vendor that exceeded their expectations in all three categories. “WatchGuard’s technology was at the forefront of protecting against current security threats and was able to support our high traffic demand. Also, the solution was priced competitively without sacrificing network infrastructure needs. Not to mention, the support for WatchGuard through our local partner has been great,” evaluated Patricio.
Egs.cl, Finis Terrae University’s partner, was an integral part of the deployment process. Egs.cl proposed a solution that included WatchGuard M400, M5600 Firebox appliances and AP320 for wireless protection. The university leveraged Dimension, included with the Firebox appliances, to easily manage their performance and gain full network traffic visibility. Additionally, with the advanced security services included in Total Security Suite, Finis Terrae University used APT Blocker to detect advanced malware threats on their network.
Egs.cl provided the necessary access points and configuration to the university, effectively adding secure wireless connectivity to the university's three underground floors and four tall buildings. The configuration process for over 130 WatchGuard AP 320s was ready in about an hour, which is critical in supporting the distributed environment of an educational institution. Patricio commented, “Simplicity is prevalent through the WatchGuard solution – from implementation to administration. That is what gives us confidence in different security scenarios, especially in an ever-changing environment like education.”
The deployment of WatchGuard’s appliances has proven beneficial for Finis Terrae University. In fact, since the deployment, the university has saved about 4,000 support man-hours per year by preventing intrusions and threats on the network. With full visibility provided through Dimension and the M400 and M5600 Fireboxes, the university can easily manage their network and view activity in real time.
With the WatchGuard AP320s, the university was able to combat its ongoing challenge of providing high performance and speed with its increasingly high traffic demand. In fact, due to the ease of deployment, Finis Terrae University is planning on adding more access points in the future as the attendance at the campus continues to grow.
Patricio concluded: “The products and services were simple to manage yet had the robustness of an enterprise-grade security solution. The speed, combined with the professionalism, is what makes WatchGuard our preferred provider. Our local partner is resourceful and will do their best to help us, even if it means exceeding their capacity.”