Case Study

Providing Industry-leading Security for a Leading University

In brief


Rangsit University





    Rangsit University sought to replace legacy firewalls to ensure proactive data and application protection from advanced cyber threats.
  • Active protection against malware and sophisticated threats
  • Complete visibility and improved performance
  • A single platform and easy integration with current infrastructure
    They chose Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall and Panorama to secure against advanced cyberthreats.
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Rangsit University (RSU), a leading private university in Thailand, is fully accredited by the Thai Government’s Commission on Higher Education, Ministry of Education. RSU is synonymous with academic excellence and looks to provide accessible, personalized, quality education opportunities for both local and international students. Established in 1986, RSU has up to 30,000 students, as well as 2,000 instructors and staff members, with growing cybersecurity requirements.


Alarming cybersecurity incidents drive quest for advanced security solutions

With ever-increasing cybersecurity incidents, Dr. Chetneti Srisa-an, vice president for technology at RSU wanted smarter threat detection, prevention and response tools so that RSU could stay ahead of threats.

Any challenges to the university’s security posture had to be kept at bay to ensure that confidential data stayed safe from cyberattackers. This proactive stance to upgrade their security infrastructure helped immensely when the pandemic struck—work from home (WFH) and online learning became the new normal.


Securing network infrastructure made easy with Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs)

With the growing sophistication of cyberthreats, RSU needed a solution from an industry-leading player that would provide them with:

  • Active protection against malware threats
  • Complete visibility and improved performance
  • Extended detection and response capabilities, including retrospective analysis
  • Single-platform, easy integration with current infrastructure and existing security tools


    Best-in-class NGFW and endpoint security, with innovation at the forefront

    As a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for Network Firewalls, Palo Alto Networks was one of the many solution providers RSU invited sequentially over the course of a year to demonstrate proof of concept. RSU also deployed Panorama™ network security management, enabling the security team to easily implement consolidated policy creation and centralized management features. Palo Alto Networks NGFW and Panorama work in unison to secure the firewall and enables RSU to move from legacy security tools to prevention-based architecture. It embraces network transformation while securing users, applications and data, no matter where they reside.

    “Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) are powered by both artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), giving us confidence that we’ll be able to stay ahead of ever-evolving cyberthreats,” emphasizes Dr Chetneti.


    A platform security solution that packs a punch

    While the solution was not deployed with the pandemic in mind, it definitely helped the university cope with the new normal. “Our proactive stance helped us immensely to cope with remote learning and WFH - with students logging in anywhere between three and six hours a day. Coupled with this, staff and teachers needed to remotely access data and applications with ease and in a secure manner,” reflects Dr. Chetneti. “Going forward, we are confident that we can continue to support the students’ learning as the ML and AI protection provide us online and on-premises support, allowing us to secure our data and applications easily.”


    Overall, Palo Alto Networks was leaps and bounds ahead of the other vendors but scored particularly high when it came to innovation. Looking at the pace of potential threats in the future, we opted for a partner that was crucial to help us stay ahead of the attack curve.

    Dr. Chetneti Srisa-an, Vice President, Technology

    Use of ML to boost network security visibility

    In the words of Dr. Chetneti, “Our focus was on maintaining business continuity. Let’s be clear—excuses such as network failures or infected devices don’t cut it anymore. A firewall plays the role of a policeman trying to nab the culprit. With additional background information, the chances of catching the offender only increases. Similarly, with ML, the new security framework prioritizes prevention of ever-evolving threats. RSU now has the advantage of increased visibility that allows for preventive analysis to plan ahead and prevent an attack from happening.” Dr. Chetneti and his team remain committed to protecting both the data and the reputation of their university. The cost of recovering any data is exorbitant. The new solution reduces downtime, increases productivity and protects brand reputation, thereby resulting in long-term benefits.

    Faster threat detection, improved investigation and response times

    With the new solution, RSU now has the advantage of collecting data automatically and correlating it across multiple security layers such as endpoint, email, server, cloud workload, and network. This even allows for retrospective analysis of any potential attacks—enabling RSU to detect and stop any attacks before they escalate. “Palo Alto Networks demonstrated the benefits of bringing all security infrastructure under a single platform and provided actionable insights that our security team can take,” states Dr. Chetneti. In addition to that, one of the key advantages RSU saw was that the solution could be integrated with other security products that RSU had already deployed, such as Aruba ClearPass.


    Trusted cybersecurity and risk management: Supporting the future of learning

    The association between Rangsit University and Palo Alto Networks is one of collaboration and one that demonstrates immense promise. As one of academy partners in Thailand for Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy, RSU is working with students to hone the skills of Thailand's next-generation cybersecurity talent. In 2021, Rangsit University participated in the Capture the Flag competition, an extension event of the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy program that enables students enrolled in the program to build and test out their cybersecurity knowledge.

    Partnering with the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy has showcased the company’s commitment to nurturing talent in the cybersecurity arena, and RSU has pledged its support to this initiative. It is a matter of great pride that the RSU team ranked 14 out of the 85 teams who participated in the event, even though the program is in its nascent stages with RSU. Dr. Chetneti concludes, “We firmly believe that this is the beginning of a long and fruitful association with Palo Alto Networks. I would like to call out the fact that the team has set up a roadmap to improve security for our infrastructure in the future. We look forward to collaborating on this cybersecurity transformation journey together.”