Publicly listed technology services provider Data#3 has upgraded the cybersecurity stack for St Mary’s College in Tasmania with Fortinet technology.
The school and Data#3 replaced its ageing gateway with a Fortinet FortiGate 500E NextGen Firewall platform.
Featuring Fortinet’s analytics capability, FortiAnalyzer, the platform offers greater control of content allowed through the gateway, increased visibility of traffic and performance.
Containing more than 1,000 students and 150 staff, the school's IT team took this as an opportunity to compile a list of modern security features to keep up with the evolving security threats and risks.
“We needed the confidence that our technology would protect students and staff on the school network, but our appliance did the minimum we were after. It would protect us from malicious websites, but we didn’t have clear reporting on what was happening,” St Mary’s College ICT manager Gerardo D’Amico said.
The school initially planned to replace the gateway security platform during the April school holiday period, but its existing provider wasn’t willing to grant a short-term extension, putting the school in a critical position, D'Amico said.
“We had two options: stick with the existing technology or push on with the Fortinet technology ahead of our original schedule. We asked our Data#3 account manager for help on a Monday, and he had a machine on order and someone lined up to start the migration after hours on Thursday, continuing into the weekend,” D’Amico explained.
“We saw networking and internet access trends we could never have seen before. This is granular level reporting that can identify the exact device or person accessing an app or site, and having that level of reporting makes our job easier.”
Previously, D’Amico explained it took the IT team significant skilled time and effort to search for information about websites visited along with pages of reports that delivered little insight. Whereas now, it was possible to identify in real time via clear reporting tools, when a user is at risk.
“Our staff couldn’t get much information about student usage, as reports were unreadable, and we wanted to be able to clearly identify what they were accessing,” he said.
“Having access to that data was one of key outcomes we wanted. Other options we looked at provided reporting, but Fortinet provided ready-made education templates in the system without us having to spend hours customising reports.”