Case Studies

VIT Secures Its Network With Cisco Security Solutions

The university has recently built a state of art modular, energy efficient and smart data center with 12 smart racks.

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), a prestigious academic institution located in Tamil Nadu was facing a unique technical problem. It’s vast and complex IT network that connected over 26,000 students and more than 1,400 teaching and non-teaching staff, was reeling under security vulnerability.

In the words of Mohan Kumar C M, Assistant Director-Systems, VIT University, “The challenge this institution was facing was it had no visibility of its vast and complex network. This put the institution and its valuable data at a constant threat of being attacked. VIT needed to handle this situation quickly and without causing trouble to existing users or loss of data.”

To give an overview of the VIT campus, it is spread across a vast area of 450 acres. Fully furnished classrooms and well-equipped labs were stationed t every building in the university with over 100 servers and 300 plus Virtual Machines to manage all the data transmissions. It has smart classrooms and galleries which are often used for seminars and events from time to time.

Being an institution of international repute, VIT welcomed hundreds of visitors every day. And most of them used their devices to connect to the common network. Unstructured networks and a lack of network management system meant that there was no way to monitor or manage the devices. And other endpoints in the network were under constant threat of malware and bot attacks. This unreliable infrastructure not only contained external threats, but internal threats too.

VIT senior management realized that the immediate need of the hour was a robust, reliable and a secure network infrastructure.

The institute shortlisted Cisco’s solution for the latter’s expertise in the networking domain. Cisco had everything VIT needed to revamp its network security – quality products, reliable solutions, great technical support and easy documentation too.

Cisco Umbrella and Cisco ISE were some solutions from the Cisco Security portfolio that were used for this project. The first step was to create a security check at the DNS layers to protect the network from cyber security threats over ports and protocol. Cisco Umbrella is an easily deployable tool with a simple dashboard. Cisco ISE helped in streamlining security policy management. With Cisco ISE, VIT IT team can now see users and control device access across wired, wireless, and VPN connections to their corporate network.

The university has recently built a state of  art modular, energy efficient and smart data center with 12 smart racks.

In just a few weeks, the results were quite visible, as, Cisco Umbrella strong security parameters ensured that the malicious websites never accessed by the endpoints and that it prevents viruses and access of malware sites by the users, which reduced burden on IT department in troubleshooting each and every endpoint whenever the problem arise. Instances of phishing mails and fake URLs access have reduced considerably. Cisco Umbrella Roaming on laptops also helps in keeping the devices secure even when they are outside the VIT secure network.

On the other benefits, Mohan Kumar mentioned, “IT troubleshooting calls have reduced considerably. IT department is now able to devote more time on new project implementations. Also adding new ISPs and generating reports have become very easy. This cloud-based security solution automates configuration and saves time for the IT team and the internal and local web pages of VIT are also now secure,” he said, adding that all these have helped the institute in drastically reduced operating costs.

The VIT network is now structured and secure. With no valuable resources and time spent on fighting threats, there is improved efficiency and productivity of the technical team. And with everyone at VIT feeling safe and secure again, the security solution ensured customer satisfaction with cutting-edge but cost-effective solutions.

“We were looking for robust, agile, scalable and easily manageable solution for our complex and large network and Cisco was able to meet all our expectations,” summed up Mohan Kumar.

 

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