A more powerful and secure network in Reykjavik

It has become more difficult for children to access dubious websites on Reykjavik City networks since more powerful security measures were installed in co-operation with Advania a year ago. Reykjavik City’s networks are now much better protected than they were before, and notifications of viruses and malware on the equipment of users have fallen significantly.

In the past, it has proved quite a challenge to protect the users of Reykjavik networks. As was reported in the news last year, there were examples where children at the junior school level were able to access pornographic sites through the networks of the City in the schools. There are no known examples of such incidents since the city’s IT department installed powerful defences in co-operation with Advania. The security solution prevents traffic on share sites and websites that contain materials such as betting games, pornography and hate speech.

“Children are able, of course (where available) to access free downloads, and this is why they connect to open networks in schools, leisure centres or other centres operated by the city. We rely on proven security solutions to protect the network. The solution we have chosen is cloud-based, which has the advantage of not needing to set up any equipment software that is connected to the network. Student smart devices that connect to the city’s networks, therefore, are as well protected from undesirable material as the equipment of city employees. We believe all users connected to the city’s networks to be better protected than before,” says Tómas Guðmundsson, Technical Manager of the Reykjavik IT Department.

He says that as a large proportion of education takes place over the Internet, there was a significant need for improvements to the city’s networks. He points out, however, that the city has no remedies to protect children from undesirable material when they use the 4G network on their smartphones.

Advania has been involved in the extensive remedial measures with the Reykjavík City IT Department over the past year. “The Reykjavik City network connection has been increased by a factor of twenty, and the concentration of wireless networks in the city has been significantly improved. In addition, work is ongoing on up-dating units that still had ADSL connections, to fibre optics, work that should be completed over the next few months,” says Snorri Ásmundsson, networks expert at Advania.

The success of the improvements is, in the opinion of Reykjavik City’s experts, already becoming clear. “The network operation has become much more stable, and there are fewer operational disruptions. There used to be cases where devices owned by employees infected equipment owned by the City. It only needed someone to bring an infected device to work to distribute the infection. Now we have sufficient defences in place to protect ourselves,” says Tómas Guðmundsson.