University Partners with WatchGuard to Provide Best-in-Class Security
The University of Miyazaki, formerly known as the National University Corporation Miyazaki, is located in Miyazaki, Japan. Highly regarded for its research, the university focuses on many fields of science including life, environmental, food and energy. They believe in “improving our surroundings by placing a high degree of importance on academic research in order to advance the greater good internationally,” and students have a choice of subject matter to specialize in that range from education and engineering to medicine, agriculture, and civil development.
With a large campus and over 10,000 students and faculty, securing personal information has been one of the university’s top priorities – particularly when they saw increasing amounts of spam emails and incidents of unauthorized access for those who connect from their accounts off-campus. In response, the university required students to take an annual security education course in password management but soon found more was needed. They began looking into authentication solutions for their network that delivered multi-factor authentication (MFA) to help restrict network access to authorized students and faculty only and was easy to manage as well.
The university worked closely with their local WatchGuard team and their partner, Minami- Nihon Network, to choose WatchGuard’s AuthPoint solution. Their decision was based on pricing, features and management capabilities. Makoto Sonoda, IT manager of the University of Miyazaki, states, “We needed to find an MFA solution that fit our budget, including any up-front and additional maintenance costs.”
"With WatchGuard, it was clear to see that AuthPoint had the features we were looking for and was both affordable and reliable. Furthermore, oftentimes vendors can have unsupported localization for their products, and we found that WatchGuard’s AuthPoint had a friendly user interface for our region. Plus, the single sign-on (SSO) functionality helps us tremendously since our students can access all their needed applications in one convenient interface.”
AuthPoint is managed by the WatchGuard Cloud with a user interface that allows the university to view AuthPoint reports and alerts, configure services, and manage tokens all from one location. WatchGuard Cloud is a key piece in deployment, streamlining everything to one interface without needing any additional software. As Makoto says, “WatchGuard Cloud easily integrates with our existing infrastructure and provided us with additional visibility for our AuthPoint solution. We enjoy the fact that AuthPoint allows digital tokens that our students can use via their smartphones. AuthPoint also allows the user to export their token in case they get a new phone, and that has saved us time and resources for our IT department.”
Since installing AuthPoint, the University of Miyazaki has strengthened their security by preventing network access by unauthorized users. The operational benefits were also substantial for the university’s IT team. “After we deployed AuthPoint at the university, we quickly noticed the benefits of both time and costs. This not only strengthened our security, but we can centrally manage this solution effectively without a drain on IT resources. Lastly, the reporting capabilities of WatchGuard Cloud have been helpful in managing our AuthPoint solution. Thanks to WatchGuard, we now have full visibility into our network and the added security to protect our campus.”