University of Bergamo
The University of Bergamo is an Italian public university in the city of Bergamo, northeast of Milan. It is home to 25,000 students and 600 staff members. Founded in 1968, it is ranked among the top 100 young universities worldwide according to Times Higher Education.
Securing a dispersed campus
The University of Bergamo faces a number of unique security challenges. Priority one is to protect the personal data of all its students and staff. The University and its staff, however, are spread across 20 sites in the city of Bergamo. Any data security must be effective across multiple networks, systems and devices across the city, and all managed by a small IT team. Each year the University welcomes a class of new students – all of whom need to be taught how to work within the university’s IT network security policy.
“We have many users of the network, all with many different levels of access,” says Andrea Gamba, IT Engineer, University of Bergamo. “We work with some highly- sensitive data, and data security has to be our main concern. As an organization, it is essential that we comply with GDPR.”
Protecting multiple networks with a single solution
The University of Bergamo has used Check Point security solutions since 2004. Gamba says the relationship continues to evolve: “Principally we have 20 sites and 20 networks, with multiple sub-networks. With the Check Point firewall solutions we can manage everything all from one centralized point. More recently, we’ve been working on segmenting the network to prevent the spread of attacks across the network.”
Today, The University of Bergamo uses Check Point integrated Security Gateway Appliances with application control, anti-bot, anti-spyware and antivirus protections. The university is also evaluating the endpoint solution, Check Point SandBlast Agent, to provide more advanced protection on the network.
“We use Check Point as the main gateway protection on the internet and in our local network over the 20 university buildings,” explains Gamba.
Strengthening security without impacting users
The most recent upgrade strengthens the University’s security position without impacting the experience of users. “Since we upgraded the old blades of the firewall, we’ve noticed the network is much more secure and there are fewer security problems,” explains Gamba.
The most relevant tool, he continues, is the log feature of the firewall. “We can now collect logs and periodically evaluate them. We can then focus on any particular aspect of the logging, which helps us determine whether we can do something more to get the best performance from the gateway.”
This proactive approach is vital given the high number of network users and the small number of staff charged with ensuring security. “There are only two people managing the university’s security,” says Gamba. “Without Check Point, we couldn’t do our job effectively. Check Point gives us the tools we need to secure our network and spend less time analyzing logs.”