Quinnipiac University is a four-year university in Hamden, Connecticut, with about 7400 students. The IT staff has to support academic functions- but, since the university has residence halls, the IT staff has to be an "Internet service provider" (ISP) for students as well. The IT staff can shape much of the academic usage of the Internet, but students living in residence halls can cause havoc. Students (and faculty) inadvertently open the campus to all kind of attacks from viruses, malware, worms, spybots, and other intruders, as they access various Web sites. A particularly trying time is after the semester break in late January when students return to campus and plug in their laptops that have been corrupted with other viruses from home networks. These viruses try to infect the entire campus.
Quinnipiac University installed an intrusion prevention system (IPS) by Tipping Point Technology in August 2006. On a daily basis, this IPS detects and drops thousands of destructive messages and packets.
But the real proof was in late January 2007 when students returned to campus from semester break. In the previous year, the viruses and spyware virtually took the campus network down for three days. But in January 2007, there were no outages and the network remained strong and functioning at full speed. Brian Kelly, Information Security Officer at Quinnipiac University, said, "Without the IPS solution, this campus would have struggled under this barrage of malicious packets and may have shut down.
With the IPS system, we were able to function at full speed without any problems."
1. What is the value of the network on a college campus? Consider students, faculty, and staff perspectives in your answer.
2. What might be some of the tangible and intangible costs of having the Internet down for three days on a busy college campus?
3. What benefits would an instruction prevention system offer to the end users on campus (e.g., faculty, staff, and students)?