Irish schools' network gains web access security

A new web filtering and anti-virus system has been deployed in Ireland's national research and education network to provide safe and appropriate internet access for the Republic's 800,000 students and staff.

The network, known as Heanet, has rolled out Fortinet's FortiGate-5140 multi-threat security systems and FortiGuard web filtering and anti-virus services at its datacentres to protect 4,000 primary and secondary schools in the country.

The school network rolled out two FortiGate-5140 chassis-based security systems with eight FortiGate-5001 blades at its Dublin-based data centres to provide web content filtering and anti-virus protection to its users. The completion of the project now means that 800,000 users in the country's schools have filtered internet access.

An Irish government initiative means that the country's schools get free broadband connectivity but this access needs to be filtered to provide appropriate content to schools. The organisation put out a competitive tender and eventually chose the FortiNet products as it was convinced that the products could provide strong and integrated security as well as performance on a large scale.

"With such a large-scale project, we had stringent technical requirements and the FortiGate security systems demonstrated the resilience, scalability and capacity needed to cope with the enormity of our project," said Ronan Byrne, special programmes manager at Heanet.

Byrne added that the integrated security platform and per-system licensing also allowed the organisation to take a centralised security and management approach and "avoid the management and licensing challenges associated with the implementation of a plethora of servers and separate point solutions."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.