Richmond Upon Thames College (RUTC) is one of London’s oldest established colleges offering a broad range
of innovative courses for people from 14 years to adults and is home to over 3,500 students and 300 staff.
In Spring 2020, they moved into the first phase of a new £80M flagship campus facility, with phase two being
completed in 2021. The project also includes the construction of two new secondary schools. As the campus and
schools are being completed and the infrastructure to support the growth in students is nearing completion, the
College is looking to address student, facility, and staff device network security.
The College identified the need to gather a full understanding of precisely what is attached to their network. They wanted visibility and security of every connected device – from traditional servers, workstations and PCs to newer and more vulnerable IoT devices.
Many higher education institutions also have a lack of visibility into their ‘Shadow IT’ devices – the practice of technology and devices that are deployed without the knowledge or approval of the IT department.
Stephen Hacon, RUTC’s IT Manager explains “We had lost sight of all of the devices that were attached over the years – we needed to understand exactly what was connected to ensure no ‘back-doors’ or vulnerabilities could be exploited.”
The provisioning of bring your own device (BYOD) added another security challenge with students bringing in
devices that were not always fully updated and secure.
Stephen went on to explain that the College takes its duty of care to its students, faculty, and staff very seriously “..given that we have a significant proportion of under 18s, we have to be extra careful; safeguarding is key”
inTEC Education, the College’s IT provider had already begun implementing their new wired and wireless network alongside a suite of other cyber security enhancements and recommended they deploy Ordr Systems Control Engine (SCE).
Ordr SCE uses deep packet inspection (DPI) and advanced machine learning to provide full visibility of all
network-connected devices at a granular level, including make, model, serial number and location. Ordr also
identifies device risks, including any inherent vulnerabilities and then continually monitors for behavioural changes
via its Flow Genome and Traffic Analysis tool in order to actively prevent any threats that may arise.
The system is continuous, passive, and agentless. It requires no hardware changes to the network, integrating with
the College’s existing infrastructure to provide unrivalled device visibility and control for both managed and
“With the Ordr user friendly dashboard, we are now able to identify potential security vulnerabilities, allowing us to effectively secure our network with just a few clicks.” said Stephen.
Ordr also integrates with a comprehensive portfolio of existing security and IT solutions. inTEC Education was able to
integrate Ordr with Splunk, the College’s SIEM solution, enriching the Splunk system with real-time device visibility
details and alerts on anomalous or malicious behaviour for further analysis by the security operations teams.
In addition to the rich device context for visibility and security, by adopting Ordr SCE, the College is now also providing enhanced safeguarding by monitoring the real-time behaviour of staff, faculty, and students, and are notified immediately of any suspicious activity.
The new system has given the College continuous visibility into their network that was never possible before, protecting all wired and non-wired devices. Should a connected device such as a CCTV camera, door entry system, or an interactive whiteboard be compromised, Ordr SCE can stop the infection in its tracks by automatically creating segmentation policies to isolate the infected device and prevent lateral movement across the network.
“Working with inTEC Education and Ordr has been a really positive experience where the system was installed quickly, giving us results from day one” explained Stephen. “We were a little surprised at what we found on the network, but I suspect we’re not alone on that front!”
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