Check Point Software Supercharges the Security Stack at Brisbane Catholic

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, an AI-powered, cloud-delivered cyber security platform provider, today announced that Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has fully deployed Check Point Quantum Network Security, the leading firewall gateway, to strengthen its resilience to cyber attacks, particularly data breaches and to prevent any operational disruptions.  

Safeguard the Network and Data

BCE is a learning community comprising more than 140 schools that deliver quality learning outcomes to 77,000 prep-to-year-12 students. A large and distributed hybrid IT infrastructure powered BCE’s education and administrative workflows. The organization also operates the largest non-governmental Microsoft Office 365 tenancy in the Southern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, the community’s physical data center hosts all critical school functions, providing library systems maintenance, student support, payroll, and much more. 

BCE was looking to ensure the strongest protection for student data and personal information, and to safeguard the network, communication links, and operational data.  With recent data breaches seen at two large Australian companies, BCE wanted to achieve deeper visibility into data traffic and file attachments to avoid a similar fate and ensure a strong infrastructure to promote support for teaching and learning activities. 

A long-time Check Point customer who had already deployed clustered Check Point Quantum Security Gateways to secure its data center systems and operations, BCE decided to utilize the full  Check Point Quantum Security Gateways, activating all available protections to minimize risk effectively. 

The Check Point Quantum Security Gateway cluster is proving to be the security cornerstone of the data center, providing full threat–prevention capabilities. Quantum’s remote access VPN features, which enabled BCE to support remote workers during the pandemic, continue to support a hybrid work environment with minimal maintenance. 

“Our newly activated Quantum Intrusion and Prevention System (IPS) blade features further optimize BCE’s defenses against known exploits, vulnerabilities, and protocol misuse,” said Tom Nitzschner, Senior ICT Officer for BCE.  “Also, the team expanded its rule set to align more closely with BCE’s datacentre environment.”

For an added layer of protection against malicious attachments, BCE leverages SandBlast zero-day protection to inspect all downloads and attachments arriving at the gateways and extract malicious content before delivery. 

Check Point also provides a dedicated Technical Account Manager (TAM) responsible for fine-tuning threat prevention capabilities, rolling out new features, and assisting on other ad hoc projects. Nitzschner updates the gateways and security policies between school terms, and the TAM works onsite with his team during the first day of a new term to ensure everything works as expected. “Check Point is always standing beside us when we need them,” said Nitzschner. “With Check Point, we’ve done well.”

Improved manageability 

With the full range of Quantum’s automated features now activated, BCE’s IT team can keep up with the latest vulnerabilities with significantly less manual effort, eliminating the need to keep up with the evolving threat landscape consistently. Check Point automatically updates the gateways to ensure updated security, allowing the team peace of mind and assurance of fighting against the newer security malware.

Nitzschner also highlighted that web traffic filtering is now much more manageable. Previously, BCE had relied on a third-party server with 16 blades devoted exclusively to inspecting web traffic, but it offered limited visibility. For example, the team could only see that a server request went out.

“With Quantum’s URL Filtering, we can see both the destination domain and actual traffic,” he said. “If we see a server going somewhere we didn’t expect, we can quickly determine if it should be allowed or not and take action – and do this with a single solution.”

Better reliability

Reliability has been one of the most significant of all the benefits achieved since upgrading the Check Point stack. “We’ve never had a blue screen or other problems,” said Nitzschner. “The Quantum Security Gateways just run, and run, and run. By turning on Quantum’s full capabilities, we’re getting more protection and deeper visibility out of the investment we already made.” 

Nitzschner said he looked forward to continuing to work with Check Point to maintain security within his organization’s IT infrastructure. “They have become a trusted technology provider, and we will continue to rely on their experience and expertise to keep our resources safe and fully operational.”

Les Williamson, Regional Director, Check Point Australia, and New Zealand, said, “With the education/Research sector being the most impacted industry in Australia with over 2,000 weekly attacks per organization (according to Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Report), it was vital to ensure the highest level of security for our education customers. Check Point is thrilled to collaborate with Brisbane Catholic Education to enable complete advanced threat prevention security with Quantum Security gateways, with centralized and streamlined security management that can handle all security risks and enhanced security visibility.”

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