How Vital is Network Security?

The Information Security Office(ISO) is responsible for the implementation, maintenance and troubleshooting of numerous firewalls located throughout campus.  These firewalls are dedicated hardware devices that sit on the network between key areas acting as “gatekeepers” – they can be programmed to a very fine detail as to which kinds of traffic or activity should be permitted or denied.

If a new server or network service is being implemented here at Wayne State, we may have to alter the configuration on one or more of our firewalls in order for it to work properly.  In order to do this, the Firewall Rule Change Request web-based form can be submitted.  Using this form allows us to have a single, standardized, and audit-able way to perform configuration changes on our firewalls.

We understand that the open nature of education clashes with the closed nature of security.  While to some it may seem inconvenient to involve an additional party (the Information Security Office) whenever you would like to make a change to a server or service, maintaining a proper level of IT security is paramount to ensuring that we have the minimum amount of risk or chance of a data breach or compromise.  The last thing that I ever want to see is a headline in the Detroit Free Press that a hacker compromised any of our student or financial data.

For a 24 hour period spanning between April 5th and 6th, our security devices provided the following protection:

  • 61.6 million blocked connections from over 1 million Internet hosts headed to WSU non-server networks;
  • 5 million successful connections to WSU servers from the Internet;
  • Over 2000 prevented specific attacks from the Internet to WSU non-server networks;
  • Over 800 prevented specific attacks from the Internet to WSU servers.

It is always enlightening to see the actual, proven benefits of the diligence and hard work when everybody comes together!