A New Perspective on Campus Infrastructure

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Many of todays Campus LANs are difficult to manage and optimise, are limited by complex configuration and don’t commonly have security considered by design. When Universities are reviewing their Campus Lan infrastructure, they expect a newer and faster network, but on the same architecture. This approach does not easily facilitate the demands for new services and security expectations that help drive digital transformation and deliver the “edge” to empower students and researchers.

Reach2020 Architecture

Phase One - Demonstration and Access

The first phase of REACH2020 has been designed to demonstrate the connectivity of any device to an access port. These devices will automatically be placed into the relevant network segments with the appropriate and secure access to network resources, users will be automatically given access to resources established by whether they are Staff, Student or on IoT devices and REACH2020 will make the decision so Network Operators don’t have to. Potential malicious or even accidental harm will be captured and managed to prevent secure boundaries or policies being breached; REACH2020 is compliance-aware and will enable a sturdier access policy without the need for additional layers of control.

Phase Two - Security and Visibility

Security 1 - A connected student host will then be compromised via a malware download, REACH2020 will detect the malware and block the compromised host from the network. The infected host will then move to a different switch but REACH2020 will still prevent the host from accessing the network.

Security 2 - Staff PC’s will be dynamically posture checked to make sure their anti-virus and security settings meet the required levels; endpoint software will stop a staff user running prohibited software from their machine.

Visibility - Network anomaly detection, rogue DHCP server and DNS servers will be introduced to the network, REACH2020 will detect this behaviour and raise support cases automatically.

Phase Three - Collaboration and Development

With the next phase and development, Axians will work with Universities and vendors to continue to build clear solutions to challenges, providing testing and proof of concept.

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Chapter 3

Campus Network Architecture

Supporting the modern University with REACH2020

At Axians we want to help Universities to flourish. We want to build solutions that solve challenges and embraces digital transformation. Our customer priorities have guided our project REACH2020, building an adaptable, agile, campus architecture.

Operational Efficiency and Simplifying Change

Priorities for Network Infrastructure challenges provided by University customers:

Control of IoT devices and BYOD devices

Students, staff or faculty members expect easy and secure connection to the network, no matter the device they use. Identifying what is on the network is the first step, REACH2020 uses controlled automated policies that authorise devices, whether user devices or the plethora of IoT, now pervasive across Campuses.

Secure segmentation for multi-tenanted environments

Many Universities have a security posture, but a larger focus is needed to detect and mitigate unauthorised and malicious attacks and to segregate administration, learning and research domains. Drawing on experience from other industries such as Service Provider landscapes, our campus architecture allows traffic to be isolated, prioritised and filtered.

Cyber-Security Threat

The ability to swiftly isolate and contain a threat is critical even if the affected endpoint moves access points or changes IP Address. With carefully selected technology, the REACH2020 architecture dynamically and automatically detects and responds to cyber threats.

Management and Analytics

The network is driving productivity and keeping students happy, so visibility on what is happening inside the network, what users are doing and what resources they need to access is vital. Enhanced visibility will provide real time reporting and advise teams of dangerous activity alongside troubleshooting capabilities.

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