Campus News

EITS to focus on stronger network connections, improved security

Timothy M. Chester

Providing a stronger network connection and continuing to bolster Web security remain top technological priorities on campus, said Tim Chester, the vice president for information technology.

Chester delivered UGA’s State of Technology address Nov. 5 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The address provided an overview of Enterprise Information Technology Services’ progress on and plans for major IT initiatives.

Those initiatives are based on the results of a survey conducted in August by EITS with a random sample of faculty, staff and students. The annual survey also helps monitor the university community’s satisfaction with the technological tools provided by EITS.

Chester said demand for Internet bandwidth usage has doubled in the last two years. As demand for Internet capacity continues to increase, EITS is working to meet that demand.

“Keeping in front of this and making sure we have ample capacity for the university’s faculty, staff and students is one of the most important things I do,” he said. “If we don’t get this right, nothing else we do at the institution will work well.”

Chester said the total bandwidth capacity at UGA has increased 20-fold in the last four years with two fiber optic cables running between the university and Atlanta to meet those needs.

The university also continues to monitor the state of network security.

Currently, more than 1,400 employees with secure data access have been issued a piece of hardware called ArchPass to retrieve sensitive information. The implementation, which still is ongoing, adds an extra layer of protection in securing information, Chester said.

Another focus for the university is offering new tools that the university community can use with mobile devices and personal laptops.

This year, EITS, in partnership with the Student Government Association, launched the UGA student mobile application for Apple devices with a forthcoming app for Android devices.

In addition, students as well as faculty and staff now can access computer lab software from personal devices using the UGA Virtual Lab, called vLab.