Being the IT organization at a top healthcare career school offering online education to a user body of 15,000 students and faculty is no small task. All users provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII) protected under regulation and subject to security compliance – at cloud scale.
To comply with standard regulations on securing PII, the school’s Senior Security Director sought to tighten up ringfencing of protected systems beyond perimeter firewalling to comply with standard regulations on securing PII. A dynamic user population demands dynamic user segmentation to databases. But the degree of granularity needed was not possible to maintain when bound to firewalls on the infrastructure. Also, the change management and operational burden of using firewalls didn’t scale to the needs of the business.
“Being able to efficiently and safely enforce policy rules was paramount because we have so many people and systems. With firewalls, it could take months,” he explained. “You have to use change control. If hardware goes down, you jeopardize the whole data center. It creates points of failure and complexity, and puts a strain on the network staff. Every new database requires coordination.”
Security on the network with internal firewalling couldn’t keep up with cloud-based demand.