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Leeds City College Deploys WatchGuard Technologies to Give 40,000 Students Safe and Secure Network Access

Unified Threat Management platforms help link together city-wide IT network and simplify on-going network management and policy creation

SEATTLE – Leeds City College, the UK's third-largest further educational establishment with more than 40,000 students and more than 1,500 staff, has deployed WatchGuard Technologies Unified Threat Management (UTM) platform across its multi-site network that connects three large campuses with fibre circuits and microwave point-to-point links.

The College was formed in 2009, following the merger of Leeds College of Technology, Leeds Thomas Danby and Park Lane College Leeds & Keighley, with further mergers with Joseph Priestley College and Leeds College of Music in 2011. While this major expansion presented exciting new opportunities for students, the integration posed considerable challenges for the College ITSS Department. Not least of these was securing three major points of connection to JANET, the UK's research and education network.

To solve this problem, the Leeds City College IT team decided to standardize on WatchGuard's integrated, multi-function security platform with the help of its IT partner Epic Net. The first WatchGuard XTM 1520 appliance replaced an existing firewall at the Technology Campus to deliver greater performance and control; while a second appliance has been installed at the brand new Printworks Campus, which opened for the first wave of students last September. The third WatchGuard XTM 1520 was installed in the Park Lane Campus this October to complete the secure, multi-site network.

The WatchGuard platform provides safe IPSEC or SSL VPN access to the College network and resources for all staff and students from Apple®, Windows® or Android™ platforms. As well as support for the full Microsoft Office® suite of applications, every student has an Office 365® email account and associated online collaborative workspace.

In addition to providing full Layer 7 firewall protection and intrusion prevention, Leeds City College now has a central point of management that offers the ability for policies to be easily deployed across the network and simplified administration and centralised logging and reporting. With up to 14 Gb of throughput, the WatchGuard XTM appliances will be able to cope with anticipated bandwidth growth and the addition of increasingly complex rule sets, without loss of performance over the next five years while the clustered hardware configuration provides 100 percent resilience.

"The expansion of the College posed significant security challenges but the WatchGuard solution has allowed us to efficiently and comprehensively implement network security for staff and students wherever they are on the network," said Dave Newsham, ITSS Service Delivery Manager at Leeds City College. "The WatchGuard XTMs are both affordable and uncomplicated to deploy and maintain, helping us ensure we meet compliance standards and can easily scale to accommodate future growth."

"Support from both WatchGuard and its partner Epic Net has been exceptional," Newsham said. "Deployment was pain free and we now have a more centrally managed, secure and easy to administer multi-site solution and we are able to track, monitor and review real-time access and reporting."

About WatchGuard Technologies

WatchGuard® Technologies is a global leader of integrated, multi-function business security solutions that intelligently combine industry standard hardware, Best-of-Breed security features, and policy-based management tools. WatchGuard provides easy-to-use but enterprise-powerful protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. WatchGuard products are backed by WatchGuard LiveSecurity® Service, an innovative support program. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Wash. with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit

For additional information, promotions and updates follow WatchGuard on Twitter @WatchGuardTech, @WatchGuardUK on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company page.

WatchGuard is a registered trademark of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.


Kerry Desberg

WatchGuard Technologies

(206) 613-3760


WatchGuard Technologies

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