Tackling threats

American University of Kuwait found the right security solution to ensure protection against threats.

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By  Sathya Ashok Published  September 1, 2007

The American University of Kuwait (AUK) takes the business of education quite seriously.

The university constantly strives to provide not only the best in syllabuses and educational opportunities but also facilities and additional amenities that will ensure the best of environments for studies in its campus.

We believe in the power of IT here and know that it can add to the efficiency, productivity and capability of every person who works within the campus.

Information technology has played a key role in providing the little conveniences for students and faculty alike that have not only made educational pursuit easier and more efficient but also established AUK as a prestigious and state-of-the-art institute.

The management and IT team at AUK have used IT to add productively to the environment including the provision of wireless access to students and faculty across the campus. Additionally, the university has provided for a solution where people can load their schedules and share drives within the network.

Moreover, the entire library has been turned into an online resource as well, where students can check book availability and reserve titles.

"We believe in the power of IT here and know that it can add to the efficiency, productivity and capability of every person who works within the campus to a large extent. Our investments and projects in IT have been driven with this need," says Mohammad Galal Tahon, chief IT administrator at AUK.

The IT team at AUK applied these same basic criteria when it came to the selection of a security solution for the university's scores of users.

Through all on offer

The university's search for a security solution started around two years back. According to Tahon, the IT team tried and tested a whole variety of antivirus and e-mail solutions from various vendors over an extended period. They tested for different considerations, including response time, virus signatures and the space the solution would occupy on the existing infrastructure.

"After an extended look across the whole landscape of solutions we settled on ESET's NOD32 solution. We found that this particular solution had faster scanning speeds, easier management and overall provided better performance on any machine," says Tahon.

AUK finalised on NOD32 and implemented the solution across their machines in 2006 with the help of Future Technology Systems (FTS), ESET's partner in Kuwait.

"ESET NOD32 is a software which is easy to implement and maintain, and that is why we call it a ‘set it, forget it' product. We worked together with AUK's technical team and our distributor - Future Technology Systems - and completed the implementation much before the set deadline," states Neo Neophytou, MD for ESET in the Middle East.

Recently, AUK renewed the original contract and bought more than 4000 licences for implementation across MS Exchange servers and client machines. Tahon states that this is simply because the solution has continued to provide high standards of protection to people across the university's campus.

"We have got two kinds of licences - one for Exchange and the other for client systems. We have calculated and bought more licences than we strictly need right now. This is because the university has a huge amount of turnover in students every year and we might also be adding to the sheer number of students. The extra licences keep us ready for any eventuality," explains Tahon.

According to Tahon, there are two very important ways in which the NOD32 solution has helped the users of the university's network and systems.

"The solution is a very light one in terms of memory. It does not occupy too much space in any machine and does not affect operational performance. We have had situations before where people have reported systems hanging and the cause has been traced to really heavy antivirus solutions. We just cannot have such situations in a university, where exams happen often, and ESET NOD32 has helped us avoid such unfavourable situations," states Tahon.

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