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Case study: University of Winchester stays on point with their cybersecurity

11 November 2021 Time to read:  minutes

The Challenge

Since the pandemic, universities have faced ongoing attacks from cybercriminals who mistakenly see these institutions as ‘a soft touch’. Not only are they increasingly seen as sources of valuable personal information, but attackers also know that disruptions are hugely damaging to a university’s reputation.

The attackers aim to swiftly take down telephone systems, student databases, and library resources for days, if not weeks, stalling students’ progress. Attackers are under the impression that this makes them prime targets for attacks and ransomware. However, what is actually going on behind the scenes in IT departments at some UK universities is a sight for SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) eyes.

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The University of Winchester is a public research university based in the city of Winchester, Hampshire. The university has origins tracing back to 1840, but was established in 2005.

Winchester University is a member of The Cathedrals’ Group (officially the Council of Church Universities and Colleges or CCUC), an association of universities and university colleges in the United Kingdom. It currently has just under 7,000 students and circa 1,000 members of staff.

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“We knew we had to have a single view of logs to give us greater visibility and to make our cyber security responses smoother. LogPoint’s solution has upped the ante for us – it is an incredibly fast and simple way to detect and thwart attacks which may come at us.”

Nigel Walters, Senior Systems Specialist, University of Winchester

The Solution

The University of Winchester is one step ahead of the game due to its continued investment in its cybersecurity armour. With the help of Trustmarque, they join a growing number of universities already using LogPoint’s SIEM platform. They are also the first in the UK to use LogPoint’s Operations Monitoring Service, taking the necessary strides to elevate their security posture.  

The LogPoint SIEM solution presented by Trustmarque detects, analyses, and responds to threats within your infrastructure for faster security investigations. LogPoint helps you prioritise incidents so you can focus on what’s important and get situational awareness. It offers modularity, scale, and control over data management to improve cybersecurity posture and efficiently automate relevant responses to both internal and external threats.

Nigel and his team praised how Ian Nave at Trustmarque introduced them to a solution that gave a holistic view of what users were doing across the network. LogPoint’s solution covered not just servers but also switches, firewalls, and everything in between. The result: an all-encompassing view of their IT estate and early threat detection mechanisms.

“At LogPoint, we understand the constraints that universities operate under. The open nature of campus networks and IT systems, and the presence of valuable intellectual property have made universities an enticing target for malicious attacks on and off-campus. Our solution is a valuable tool to help them detect threats before they become attacks. Recognising the difficulties universities face, we offer an unlimited enterprise licence at a fixed price, aligned to the number of students to eliminate concerns around growing costs as data volumes grow. Paired with the simple to use platform, LogPoint is the perfect choice for budget-conscious organisations looking for enterprise-grade capabilities.”

Tim Wallen, Regional Director, LogPoint

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Finding efficiencies and implementing cost-efficient solutions were key factors for the University of Winchester when they decided to go out to tender. Some solution providers struggled to hit the mark with GDPR governance, offering server support abroad. However, not only did LogPoint’s UK-based solution offer a user-friendly interface and value for money, but they also brought with them hands-on support from the outset.

“The work with Trustmarque and LogPoint opened our eyes to what could and should be monitored. My advice would be don’t be selective in what you monitor. Monitor everything, even things like chip and PIN machines on your network need to be accounted for, not just computers in the library.”

Nigel Walters, Senior Systems Specialist, University of Winchester

LogPoint supported Nigel and his team with the initial installation of the solution, and due to their standing in the marketplace, they also foresaw bumps in the road and empowered the end-users to overcome these with ease. Once the solution was in place, the team at the University of Winchester was able to hit the ground running and had sufficient training to manage the system.

If you’re a university or education institution in a similar situation, Nigel suggests considering the volume of data you might gain and how to store it. LogPoint offers a solution that gives you complete control over deployment and storage of your data be it physical environments or cloud-based infrastructure, helping to satisfy data protection and various compliances.

Trustmarque and LogPoint

Trustmarque is a LogPoint Gold Partner, aligned to reflect the commitments and expertise Trustmarque have invested in the LogPoint solutions. This enables us to provide expert knowledge and advice across their portfolio.

For LogPoint, partnerships are key to ensuring the best possible customer engagements.

We are able to provide the highest levels of advice and technical expertise for the SIEM market and the LogPoint solutions.

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