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Strengthening and Simplifying Cybersecurity

CDW-G Provides Firewalls and VPN to Enhance Defenses for Community College.

For more than 35 years, Barton County Community College in central Kansas has been preparing students for success through a blend of classroom and practical hands-on education. A majority of the school’s degree programs incorporate the use of technology to prepare students for today’s workforce, while its wired buildings and computer labs ensure that technology access is at the fingertips of its more than 5,000 students. Although the Internet fosters increased communication and research capabilities, Barton’s seven-member IT staff must also maintain vigilance against online threats to protect its 1,200-PC network.

“The increasing severity of computer viruses and malicious code has transformed information security from a low IT priority to an operational necessity,” says Charles Perkins, co-team leader, Information Services at Barton. “The evolving cyberthreats were outpacing our existing firewall technology and making it increasingly challenging to monitor and manage our IT environment efficiently.”

Barton has segmented its IT campus in order to efficiently quarantine the student dormitories or other areas should they become infected by viruses or malicious code?effectively keeping the rest of the campus safe from cyberattacks. While this complex security segmentation reduces the risk of widespread infection, it also creates an exponential increase in management requirements.

To purchase and implement a project of such complexity, Barton needed a trusted advisor to provide its new solution. “We required insight from a partner that understands the unique security requirements of an academic network and would help finalize product specifications within our budget,” said Amy Oelke, co-team leader, Information Services at Barton. “We could not afford to make the wrong investment.”

Working with CDW Government (CDW-G), a leading provider of technology solutions to governments and educators, Barton implemented a new firewall and virtual private network (VPN) solution to enhance defenses, while also providing a “dashboard view” of all subnets to simplify security management.

Barton used CDW-G’s engineering team as a sounding board for product selection and to recommend software licensing and technical agreements that address the college’s requirements. CDW?G combined its extensive knowledge of the needs of higher education customers and comprehensive product line from proven vendors to support Barton’s security requirements. CDW-G helped the Barton IT team prepare for its presentation to the college board of trustees required to approve funding for the new security solution.

“Our experience with our new security solution has been extremely positive and CDW-G has been very responsive during the entire process,” said Perkins. The new security solution is intuitive, enabling multiple Barton IT staff members to manage the college’s security infrastructure concurrently.

“Cybersecurity is a dynamic process that requires us to protect the college continually against ever-evolving threats,” said Perkins. “We are confident that our new security technologies will provide the flexibility to expand our information defenses and address tomorrow’s requirements. Our strategy to combine security products, policies and vigilance is integral to maintaining a safe and engaging online environment for the Barton community.”

For more information contact CDW-G at 800.767.4239 or visit