University wins technology award

Computer World magazine recognized GW for its secure wireless networking practices and its efforts to protect the network from external intrusions with a “Best Practices in Mobile & Wireless,” said Alexa Kim, executive director of ISS Technology Services.

“GW’s requirement for VPN (virtual private network) usage is unusual for a wireless deployment,” Kim wrote in an e-mail. “This system provides an important level of security and access control.”

Andrew Gallo, GW’s senior information systems engineer, said the University uses the program IPSEC VPN, known on campus as GBUSSNet. This security system “is among one of the most secure methods to encrypt traffic to prevent eavesdropping,” Gallo said. GW also continually examines and evaluates new and developing methods for security and ease of use, he added.

Computerworld subscribers, along with IT-end-user companies and organizations, nominated organizations for the award. Finalists were judged by a panel based on several factors, including the quality of IT department and the manner in which they have responded to mobile and wireless challenges.

Among four categories for the award, GW was named an honoree for “maximizing wireless security to prevent intrusion.” Other winners in that category included Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., Grant Thornton in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, Calif. and SunCal Companies in Irvine, Calif.

“Companies recognized by Computer World’s Mobile & Wireless World Conference can be proud of the accomplishments of these talented IT professionals,” said executive vice president of Computerworld Ron Milton in a press release. “Their hard work and dedication to the best practices in the mobile and wireless industry benefit their companies, employees and customers alike.”

GW received the award at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla.

Gallo and Bill Koffenberger, senior account manager of ISS, both attended the conference and awards ceremony, which was held from May 21 to 23.

“Being recognized by industry leaders is a great honor for GW,” said Gallo. Innovators and giants in the mobile and wireless industry, such as FedEx and USPS, attended the conference, he added. “To be recognized, not only by peers … but also industry leaders, is quite an accomplishment.”

While wireless service is not guaranteed in all areas around campus, the University expanded wireless capabilities this spring to include the common areas of 16 residence halls on the Foggy Bottom campus.

Residence hall rooms are equipped with fiber cables for fast and reliable network connections, and Mount Vernon Campus residence halls will have wireless access in fall 2007, Kim said.

She added that the University hopes to expand wireless access to more public places in the future.

“The University’s focus is to add wireless connections to more public places on the GW campuses to enable students’ mobility,” Kim said.

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