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New College Durham – Smoothwall Filter Case Study

What’s the background?

New College Durham (NCD) provides FE and HE courses to over 15,000 full and part-time students and is amongst the top colleges in the UK, recently being identified as the top performing college in the North East. The college has recently been awarded an outstanding grading from Ofsted, with their excellence and innovation also been recognised by the awarding of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service Beacon Status.

What was the challenge?

Julian Benson, Enterprise Applications Controller at NCD, explained that their previous web filtering and firewall solution no longer met the college’s requirements, “Bloxx is moving to a cloud only solution and this can’t offer us everything we need”.

Julian also highlighted issues they had been experiencing and are keen to move away from with the new solution, “We were using one appliance for the proxy and one for wireless traffic. Issues were becoming more apparent, for example, the failover to the other appliance wasn’t as smooth as previously.”

How Smoothwall helped

After evaluating four solutions, Julian felt that having the ability to meet the Government’s Prevent Legislation was vital, “Having web security that safeguards our children is nowadays as important as the technical features such as SSL intercept. This combined with the excellent pricing puts Smoothwall a level above the competition.”

When discussing the setup process, Julian stated, “It was easy. I got more or less everything up and running myself, and the support team were on hand to assist with the few things I couldn’t do alone. The learning curve of being able to use Smoothwall on a daily basis was much easier and quicker than expected too.”

“The support team have continued to be very helpful, one of my queries was answered in a few minutes which was great!”

When asked about the overall success of Smoothwall Filter, Julian commented, “The features available are fantastic, particularly on the safeguarding aspect, and the reliability is second to none!”

The support team have continued to be very helpful, one of my queries was answered in a few minutes which was great!

Julian Benson
New College Durham

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