Customer Spotlight: University of Arkansas Scales Up with Palo Alto Networks Security

Amy Pang


Consistently ranked as a top research university, the University of Arkansas is home to over 210 academic programs and 27,000 students. As the leading public research institution in the state, the University has seen enormous growth in its student population, causing it to overhaul much of its infrastructure.

With open network access as the cornerstone of an unrestricted learning environment, Elon Turner, Director of Infrastructure at the University of Arkansas, and his team chose to upgrade the university’s traditional “black box with very limited visibility,” to Palo Alto Networks Security Operating Platform.

In doing this, they deployed multiple next-generation firewalls to separate data center and campus traffic. Additionally, the University of Arkansas configured these firewalls with Threat Prevention, URL Filtering and cloud-based threat analysis services. This approach brought a new level of performance and reliability for students and faculty accessing the internet, while keeping core data center operations separate and secure.

After deploying the Palo Alto Networks Security Operating Platform, Turner and his team saw the following results:

  • Open application and web access in a secure network environment
  • Granular, application-aware control with virtually no false positives
  • Accelerated response time to security incidents with consolidated visibility
  • Simplified policy administration, reducing the number of rules from 1,000 to 100
  • Democratized network security, extending visibility and control to multiple teams

As the university continues to evolve its security posture, Turner says his team is considering adding Palo Alto Networks Traps advanced endpoint protection and GlobalProtect network security for endpoints to extend the next-generation security capabilities to the university’s mobile users.

“We want to add more network security capabilities without the complexity you get with individual point solutions,” Turner concludes. “That allows us to take a long-range, strategic approach to strengthen our security posture as new technologies emerge and the needs of students, faculty, and staff change.”

Read the entire University of Arkansas case study to see how the Palo Alto Networks Security Operating Platform helped them scale to their increasingly growing student population.

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