Secure|Connected

Launched in 2017 and concluding in December 2019, Secure|Connected is a multi-year transformational program, designed to significantly upgrade USC’s information security and network capabilities to meet the institution’s ever-evolving needs as a world-class research university. Through this program, Information Technology Services (ITS) will rearchitect and rebuild USC’s network and information security infrastructure to provide faculty, students, researchers and staff with a highly reliable, high-performance network with advanced security protections.

To learn more about the Secure|Connected program, email SecureConnected@usc.edu.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Secure|Connected?
Secure|Connected is a multi-year program with two components: (1) “Secure USC,” to enhance information security in significant ways, and (2) “Connected USC,” to replace and upgrade USC’s old network infrastructure. Secure|Connected is led by a program team in USC’s Information Technology Services; the program includes formal project and organizational change management (OCM) teams.

The program team is committed to collaborating with schools and units across the university. Faculty, staff, and students may send questions and comments to secureconnected@usc.edu.

What are the objectives and benefits of Secure|Connected?
Secure|Connected will provide:

    • Improved performance, reliability, and security through a redesign of USC’s network infrastructure.
    • Advanced information security practices and tools to better protect data across the university, including intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII) and other confidential information.
    • Clearly defined information security responsibilities for all USC units.
    • A secure, high performance, and flexible network that supports emerging technologies (e.g., cloud computing, mobile technologies).

Who is on the Secure|Connected program team?
The Secure|Connected program team is led by Information Technology Services (ITS) staff; the team includes independent contractors and consultants with relevant expertise. This team partners with IT directors and staff from across the university to ensure alignment throughout the program.

What projects are currently underway within the Secure|Connected program?
The security projects currently underway include initiatives related to:

  • Identity and access management
  • Vulnerability monitoring and management
  • Data loss protection for USC’s confidential data assets
  • Information security awareness and training
  • Information security governance, policies and standards
  • Information security risk management

The network projects currently underway include initiatives related to:

    • Enterprise routing
      • Encompasses the global routing architecture, design, configuration, implementation, and testing plans for the wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), core, and border environments.
    • Building network enhancements
      • Includes the infrastructure refresh for the access and distribution layer of the wired and wireless networks in buildings, both on- and off-campus. The team will address connectivity configurations for devices across the campus, leveraging knowledge of the site-specific needs of each building.
    • Network security
      • Incorporates the design, implementation, and testing of the security-related components of the overall data center and campus network security architecture including firewalls, network access control (NAC), and remote-access VPN.
    • Data center
      • Involves the design, implementation, and testing of a next-generation, multistage data center network in the main data center as well as in the colocation data center. This work will also include the integration between the existing and new data center networks to support workload mobility and migration to the new data center infrastructure.

How can I find out about the progress of the project?
ITS has an organizational change management (OCM) team dedicated to supporting members of the Trojan community affected by program projects. The OCM team will provide messaging, community forums, newsletters, and training, as needed.

If you are a USC faculty member, staff member, or student and would like to receive a copy of “Keeping Connected,” a bi-weekly newsletter that outlines project progress and upcoming milestones, please email SecureConnected@usc.edu.

What is the schedule for upgrading the network in campus buildings?
The upgrade of the entire campus network has taken several years. We anticipate that all 293 building network upgrades will be completed by the end of August 2019. Additional core network enhancements will continue through December 2019.

If you have specific questions about your building upgrade, please contact your school or administrative unit IT director.

How many buildings have been upgraded so far?
As of the end of August 2019, the wired and wireless networks in 291 buildings across the University Park, Health Sciences, and Catalina campuses have been upgraded. The 2 remaining buildings will be upgraded in September 2019.