Over the last year, Gonzaga Chief Information Officer (CIO) Chris Gill and his IT team have been trying to build up the security capability and maturity for the university which involved making some infrastructure improvements. The university has more than 2,000 computers, over 200 servers and more than 20,000 network switch ports on campus. Unlike a corporation, higher education institutions face the challenge of having limited control over resources that absolutely have to be a part of the network.
Already facing the hurdle of ensuring that the appropriate technology resources are available to meet students’ academic and social needs, Gonzaga must also protect its key information assets from those same devices for which they do not have the kind of control that a typical corporate entity would. With a comprehensive wireless network and shared bandwidth, the potential to propagate malware and malicious software is much higher on a college campus than within a corporation.
With more than 20,000 new vulnerabilities identified every day around the world, Gill and his team believed the most cost effective improvements that they could make is to become aware of and monitor what their systems are looking like. “Keeping track and making sure we are being diligent about maintaining the integrity of our computing systems around campus from a security perspective is absolutely essentially to us. It’s the core security component around building a mature infrastructure,” said Gill.