Western moves ahead with infrastructure upgrades

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University is taking its next step in enhancing existing university network security with the implementation of a firewall. A device that allows the network to be filtered and controlled by the system administrator, the firewall will protect faculty, staff and students’ personal information from intrusion and bring greater security and services to the university.

The two-stage implementation process will begin on Saturday, November 13 with the deployment of the external firewall. Placed between the campus network and the Internet, it will serve to protect systems and users from unwanted outside attacks, viruses and other forms of electronic interference.

The internal firewall will be deployed on Saturday, November 20. This system will protect the university’s core servers, applications, and data storage, helping to ensure the integrity of these systems and the privacy of information.

While the firewall will ultimately improve Western’s security and services, it is possible that network users may experience temporary disruption to their usual network activities during the implementation process. All users are encouraged to visit the firewall section of the IT Web site at http://www.wcu.edu/it/firewall/index.html (link no longer active) for more information and assistance.

Blackwell Consulting Services, a full service IT consulting firm partnering with Western, has a team of consultants on campus. Faculty in particular are encouraged to contact them as soon as possible if they experience or anticipate teaching problems due to the firewall implementation.

If you have questions or want to ensure that off-campus users have access to your specific departmental technology services, contact Blackwell consultants through the IT Services Help Desk at 227-7487 or complete the firewall feedback form at http://www.wcu.edu/it/firewall/feedback.html (link no longer active).

For more information, contact the IT Services Help Desk at 227-7487.