Macquarie University has just completed a security systems overhaul in the wake of an audit last year which found weaknesses in its infrastructure.
As part of the overhaul the university has inked a $1 million deal with Nortel and channel partner 3D Networks to replace multiple firewalls and ad hoc security gateways.
It was replaced with a network of secure routers connected to a central firewall for all incoming and outgoing traffic.
Peter Hole, the university's infrastructure services manager, said a mandate has been passed to protect intellectual property (IP) at the research institution.
"We store a large amount of sensitive research and commercially viable data on our network," he said.
"Considering we support more than 30,000 students, all of whom have equal access to the network, we have the dual challenge of creating an environment that fosters experimentation and learning while protecting against unauthorized traffic originating from our users."
Earlier this year Macquarie University issued a tender for a new security system with the requirement that it doesn't affect system availability, is highly scalable as the network expands, is quick to react to new threats, and can detect and react to damaging and non-damaging illegitimate traffic like music and video downloads.
"Nortel's solution was unique compared to the submissions we had from competing vendors," Hole said. "By placing a firewall at the network core rather than the edge and routing all traffic through the firewall, we're simultaneously protected from external and internal threats."
Nortel A/NZ president Mark Stevens said universities pose a particular security challenge that's not always easy to solve with traditional network equipment or off-the-shelf security products.
The solution includes Ethernet Routing Switch 8600s and Nortel Switched Firewalls with Checkpoint security software pre-installed. Implementation started this month and is expected to be complete by September.