University of Southampton
With around 25,000 students and a further 5,000 staff, the University of Southampton is one of the UK’s leading academic institutions. Noted for its excellent research facilities, it includes the only engineering facility in the country to receive a five star rating, is a member of the Russell Group and of the Worldwide Universities Network.
Historically, Southampton University was involved in the research for fiberoptics, a technology on which all modern global communications are based. Since then it has maintained its reputation for being at the forefront of IT research and education.
Research, teaching and student activities often place a high demand on the University’s IT infrastructure and a robust firewall system is a mission critical service for the University.
Imerja began working with Southampton University in 2004 to provide a support service for its two Check Point firewall clusters; one protecting the halls of residence and the other for the campus area. Imerja has continued to provide remote support to assess and diagnose any issues that arise, with onsite engineering provided as required.
Over the years the University has proved to be an exciting client for Imerja as the higher education sector presents unique security challenges. As a leading IT institution, world renowned for its involvement in cutting edge technologies, researchers are often experimenting and exploring new methods and ideas.
Research, teaching and student activities often place a high demand on the University’s IT infrastructure and a robust firewall system is required for the University to be properly protected. Imerja has worked closely with the University in ensuring the firewall estate provides this protection so that staff and students work safely, each with appropriate freedom demanded by the education sector.
Imerja also regularly assists the University with ad hoc security consultancy and provides reactive assistance for critical system failures outside of the scope of the support contract. As an example, this included on-site and remote engineering resource to assist with the system restoration following a serious fire at the University’s Highfield Campus which destroyed the Mountbatten Clean Room Complex, a major facility for the research activities in the £50m facility for the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).
Imerja’s prompt and proactive involvement helped to minimise downtime and restore services quickly, and provided a design foundation to assist with the rebuild project.
Providing secure and flexible access to information, whilst maintain an appropriate security posture for the education sector is fundamental to the learning culture promoted by the University of Southampton and is in keeping with its status as world leading research institution.
Imerja continues to work closely with the University to provide support and consultancy services, and regularly conducts security posture health checks as part of the universities review to understand vulnerabilities. Most recently Imerja has been engage to work with the University on its firewall refresh programme and examine strategic options to place it on a footing for planned future growth.
“We’ve always been very pleased with the flexibility shown by Imerja, and the in-depth knowledge and availability of its engineers when needed.”
IT Manager, University of Southampton