Market Brief

StealthWatch Addresses Higher Education’s Need for Greater Network Control and Security

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Colleges and universities face unique challenges when it comes to network performance and security due to their massive networks, open, widely distributed computing environments and tech-savvy users. Educational institutions must provide the ample network availability, openness and performance needed to support tens of thousands of users and a wide range of applications while still protecting assets and data from security and privacy compromises. They must also be able to maintain high levels of application performance to support student services such as online applications, class registration and financial aid on a 24/7 basis.

Traditional solutions such as network probes can be resource-intensive, cost-prohibitive and often cannot scale to meet the needs of massive university networks. Educational institutions therefore require improved means of addressing the following challenges:

  • Comprehensive Visibility
  • Network Performance
  • Application Awareness
  • Security & Privacy
  • Compliance

StealthWatch Delivers End-to-End Network Visibility, Addresses Higher Education Challenges

Lancope’s StealthWatch System unifies flow-based security, network and application performance monitoring to streamline workflows and provide more comprehensive visibility and protection. By analyzing NetFlow and other flow data from existing routers and switches, StealthWatch provides the actionable insight needed to troubleshoot a wide range of network, application and security issues across the entire network. This unique and thorough approach dramatically reduces the time from problem onset to resolution and ensures that faculty, students and staff always have access to the resources they need. 

StealthWatch enables educational organizations to:

  • Conduct continuous monitoring while maintaining the openness of their network
  • Reduce the cost and complexity associated with probe deployments
  • Achieve application awareness for compliance with RIAA and other regulations, and for high performance of student service applications
  • Improve their understanding of the composition of university traffic

StealthWatch is scalable to meet the needs of even the largest networks, and can also monitor and protect virtual networks, enabling organizations to embrace innovative IT trends while still maintaining control over network performance and security.

Obtain Visibility & Protect Privacy

StealthWatch enables educational organizations to achieve comprehensive network visibility without compromising openness or performance. Educational institutions also have to carefully balance network monitoring and security investigations with the privacy rights of students. StealthWatch is ideal in this situation, since it employs flow-based behavioral analysis to monitor network traffic without drilling into the packets themselves. However, for cases where suspicious activity is uncovered, StealthWatch also offers application-level awareness and deep packet inspection to assist with forensic investigation.

Increase Network & Application Performance

State-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge applications, as well as students’ 24/7 reliance on computing resources, require high levels of network and application performance. Students and staff need access to key applications such as Banner and PeopleSoft for managing transcripts, class schedules and financial aid, for example, around the clock. StealthWatch provides an end-to-end view of what is happening across the network to assist in pinpointing the cause of network and application problems and maintaining high availability and performance. The system is scalable to meet the needs of all environments including 10G networks.

Improve Network  Security

With massive networks and limited resources, higher education institutions often struggle to prioritize and combat the most dangerous issues that enter their networks. This puts valuable network assets, confidential student/faculty information and proprietary research data at risk. StealthWatch rapidly detects and prioritizes suspicious and malicious host and network behaviors such as cyber attacks, unauthorized application usage and policy violations to improve security posture.

Track User Identity & P2P File Sharing

Having access to students’ online activity is critical in higher education in light of the high usage of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications that violate copyright regulations. Upheld by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), violation of these regulations can lead to costly lawsuits against universities where students are sharing unauthorized files. StealthWatch provides application awareness to detect the usage of P2P applications, and also automatically ties all host and network activity to IP, username and systems involved, helping to track offenders.

Streamline Workflows

University IT staffs often have limited resources, diminishing the amount of time they can spend on strategic initiatives. StealthWatch streamlines network and security workflows through a few, centrally located and administered appliances that require minimal system upkeep, no host agents, no signature updates and no need to manually comb through vast amounts of traffic logs to pinpoint the source of issues. This helps IT teams make the most of their time and resources.

Demonstrate Compliance

Like other industries, educational institutions must comply with government and private industry regulations such as PCI, and require in-depth insight into network assets and behaviors to achieve this compliance. Through constant, comprehensive monitoring and advanced features such as application and identity awareness, StealthWatch helps higher education organizations protect personally identifiable information (PII).

Higher Education Testimonials

Better Network & Application Performance 

“The StealthWatch System proactively manages the utilization of our network, identifying and removing sources of inappropriate traffic.”

University of Nottingham, UK

Comprehensive Protection

“StealthWatch is an incredibly useful tool for blocking external reconnaissance traffic and locating compromised systems throughout our campus. In fact, StealthWatch detected two major systems that were exploited, a problem that was not seen with our current IPS devices.”

Illinois State University

Actionable Insight

“StealthWatch is an enabler that not only provides you with visibility, but also ability. StealthWatch offers an opportunity to move from reactive to proactive and to be able to lock down those occasions when you just don’t know.”

University of Westminster, UK

Increased Visibility

“StealthWatch has dramatically increased our network visibility. We’ve gone from analyzing 10 percent of network connections to 95 percent or higher. Tasks, which we used to avoid because of the effort required, are now performed quickly and efficiently using StealthWatch.”

University of Adelaide, Australia

Proactive Security

“Immediately upon deployment, StealthWatch uncovered 400 misbehaving hosts and helped reduce network threats by 90 percent. Email worms, which used to propagate quickly, are now immediately stopped with StealthWatch. New attacks, for which no signatures exist, now fail to gain a foothold unlike before.”

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

Streamlined Workflow

“NetFlow analysis is a very powerful tool that gives our network engineers the information they need to resolve problems. With limited staff responsible for monitoring, securing and optimizing such a large network, StealthWatch provides us with much needed visibility to do our jobs faster and more effectively.”

Central Michigan University

Enhanced Productivity

“StealthWatch is very intuitive. With relational flow mapping, we can create a map that displays both bandwidth usage and alarms per host group in a matter of minutes. This clear view quickly enables us to pinpoint network and security issues.”

Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam (GLR), the Netherlands

Improved Network & Security Posture

“On a daily basis, [StealthWatch] identified infected hosts in real time, enabling our security and network teams to mitigate risks and prevent further propagation. Unlike traditional security products, [StealthWatch] uncovered hidden traffic patterns and gave us valuable insight from a networking perspective that we use to continuously improve our security and network posture.”

Stanford University School of Medicine, California

 

Educause Identity Management Services Program (IMSP)

A proud supporter of the EDUCAUSE Identity Management Services Program (IMSP), Lancope helps academic institutions protect their networks and enhance network and security operations with preferred member pricing for Lancope’s identity tracking solution the StealthWatch IDentity appliance, a component of the award-winning StealthWatch System.

For more information, visit http://www.educause.edu/LancopeProductsandServices/12827