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Open Source Security Tools at Maricopa Community Colleges

Thursday, January 1, 2004


The Maricopa Community Colleges consist of 10 colleges, two skill centers, and many college satellite centers, including classes being held at the Arizona state prison. More than 200,000 students are enrolled, supported by approximately 11,000 employees. This translates to roughly 25,000 network hosts. Maricopa has a decentralized administration, with each college having a president and a full complement of deans. The district office administration handles core, centralized, administrative operations such as human resources and financials. The colleges have diverse missions, from purely occupational to largely academic colleges. One college is solely distance learning.

Technology is diverse, with each site having its own IT department. The colleges and the central office use a mix of Microsoft, UNIX, Mac, and Linux systems with a variety of Cisco, Nortel, and Cabletron networks. This, of course, leads to quite a diverse end-user population. As with most publicly funded educational institutions, Maricopa's technology budget is limited. The diversity of technology, administration, fixed capital budget with little operational dollars available, and an extremely limited staff dedicated to information security led Maricopa's central office to investigate the potential of using open source security tools.

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