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Vlerick Business School builds secure learning environment with Zero Trust approach

Watch the video in French or Dutch.

With more than 25,000 alumni in 99 countries, Vlerick Business School is a leading business school in Europe. On its three campuses in Brussels, Ghent and Leuven, Vlerick not only conducts research, but also prepares ambitious students for their role to a better world with various courses, including Master and MBA programs. To allow students and researchers to work in a secure and flawless way, Vlerick Business School teamed up with Orange Cyberdefense to adopt a Zero Trust approach.

Cybersecurity is a top priority for Vlerick Business School

Preparing tomorrow’s leaders, that’s the mission of Vlerick Business School. With a mix of nationalities and backgrounds, the school’s campuses are the ideal breeding ground for innovative insights and ideas that will lead companies to new successes in the coming years. Successful organizations today have one thing in common: they all rely on a solid cybersecurity strategy. For even the strongest vision hinges on the ability to stop an attack or get systems running again quickly.

Vlerick Business School has a similar challenge. Cyberattacks on educational institutions are no longer an exception. For a renowned business school like Vlerick, cybersecurity is therefore a top priority. “We are very ambitious and strive for a spot among Europe’s top 15 schools. But that ambition is not without risks”, says Wim Wauterickx, IT Manager at Vlerick Business School. “The attack surface continues to expand, we have a lot of sensitive data in our ecosystem, and we must consider the high expectations of our students and staff. For them, connectivity and high availability of our systems are essential. That’s why cybersecurity is very important to Vlerick Business School.”

Time for a Zero Trust strategy

In developing a cybersecurity roadmap, Vlerick Business School decided to set the bar high. “That’s why we were looking for a partner who could help us realize that strategy. A partner we can trust and who is in line with our culture and vision. But also a partner who helps us set the right priorities”, says Wauterickx. This is how the school ended up at Orange Cyberdefense. “They are a well-known cybersecurity player and have people with expertise. This enables them to help us not only with the design of a strategy, but also with its implementation.”

Vlerick Business School recognized that Zero Trust is the best philosophy for organizations that work on a future-proof, cloud-ready network. A Zero Trust policy starts from the principle “never trust, always verify”. It considers any interaction initially unreliable, requiring users and devices to be verified before accessing an application. “Before anyone can connect to the school’s segmented network, authentication is required. This is based on policy principles and the role and context of each user.”

To check that access, Vlerick Business School chose to implement a Network Access Control (NAC) solution. In addition, the school counts on Orange Cyberdefense’s SOC (Security Operations Center) services for network monitoring and rapid detection of new threats. That way, Vlerick also profits from 24/7 support.

Ready for the future

Vlerick Business School today has a high level of maturity in the field of cybersecurity. The school is ready for the future and a world in which cyber-attacks are daily events. Of course, threats continue to evolve and the school will also have to make regular adjustments. “Therefore, we are pleased that we have found a long-term partner in Orange Cyberdefense. They like to challenge us and help us find solutions that matter to Vlerick Business School”, says Wauterickx.

“Thanks to our collaboration with Orange Cyberdefense, our own IT team has fewer worries. Whenever we need something, their experts are always easily accessible. That’s something we really appreciate. We know that like cyber attackers, technologies continue to develop. But we are confident that Orange Cyberdefense is the right choice for a carefree future.”

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