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News

Anonymous proxies successfully blocked at Piggott School

Aladdin Knowledge Systems : 22 January, 2009  (Application Story)
School employs Aladdin to assist in the prevention of its pupils using anonymous proxy servers to gain access to unsuitable content
Aladdin Knowledge Systems has announced details of a successful project to help the Piggott School to strengthen its IT security and prevent the use of anonymous proxies which had proven difficult to block under its previous content security system

"We treat the security of our ICT very seriously as we use it extensively across almost every department," explains James Fisher, IT manager for The Piggott School. "We have traditionally scanned for viruses and blocked access to non academic websites but the use of anonymous proxies is a relatively new area which our old security platform was not equipped to deal with."

With limited budgets, IT security spending requires careful consideration. "The school's IT environment is a difficult one to manage as we need to balance allowing our students to access a wide range of resources via the web but still protect users against illegal or illicit content," comments Fisher.

Following raised concerns regarding improper content appearing on school IT systems, Fischer contacted HANDD Business Solution, a specialist provider of ICT Security, Auditing and Compliance solutions and an Aladdin Knowledge Systems Partner. Using an Aladdin Web Threat Analyser (WTA) set to monitor the Piggott school network over the course of a busy week, the device spotted 2500 malicious or illicit websites had been accessed showing the existing URL filter was not doing its job correctly.

The WTA Audit conducted by HANDD also found 22 viruses — meaning either someone was downloading them or there was an infected machine on their network trying to download them. In addition, nearly 6000 Spyware and Security exploits were spotted showing internal machines were compromised and sending unknown information to outside networks.

As Ian Davin, Sales & Marketing Director for HANDD explains, "The reason for many of these threats became clear as the school's current perimeter security had been circumvented by the use of 87 different instances of anonymous proxies, which had allowed users to bypass URL filtering."

Following the audit, the Piggott School instructed HANND to deploy an Aladdin eSafe Gateway appliance with URL and Application content filtering to replace its existing solution. The appliance also includes the eSafe anonymizer solution which blocks 100 percent of tools that circumvent Web security, including anonymous proxies. "We went for an appliance because it is much simpler to manage and integrate into our existing infrastructure and can scale if we need to add more PCs to our network," explains Fisher.

Since Installation of the eSafe Gateway appliance, a subsequent audit of ICT security has found no instances of anonymous proxies, viruses or malware. "Conducting regular security audits is essential in our view," Fisher comments. "The pace of change within ICT and the inventiveness of students and users to circumvent our best efforts to secure the network make eSafe an essential requirement."
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