Secure|Connected USC

Launched in 2017, Secure|Connected is a multi-year transformational program, designed to enhance 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 USC’s network and information security infrastructure to provide faculty, students, researchers and staff with a high-performing network with greater reliability and security protections.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Secure|Connected?

    Secure|Connected is a multi-year program with two components: (1) “Connected USC,” to replace and upgrade USC’s older network infrastructure, and (2) “Secure USC,” to enhance information security in significant ways.

    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 older network infrastructure.
    • Augmented information security practices to better protect data across the university, including intellectual property and personally identifiable information (PII).
    • Clearly defined information security responsibilities for all USC units.
    • Secure network architecture 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 area expertise.

    What projects are currently underway within the Secure|Connected program?

    The security projects include initiatives related to data loss prevention, identity and access management, security operations center, security governance, and risk management.

    The network projects 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 security architecture including firewall, network access control (NAC), and remote-access VPN.
    • Data Center – Involves the design, implementation, and testing of a next-generation, multistage (Clos) 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 relevant.

    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 will take several years. We anticipate that work will be completed by the end of 2019. Upgrades will be scheduled in 3 waves based on the amount and complexity of work required to prepare buildings for their upgrade. Wave 1 will start in April 2018 and will include wired and wireless upgrades.

    The S|C project team updates the master schedule for the upgrade every month in consultation with the IT directors of the schools and administrative units who support the staff occupying the scheduled buildings. This iterative process allows us to schedule work for times that will be the least disruptive to each building’s occupants. Please note, however, that the building upgrade is a highly coordinated and complex project that requires all the networked devices in a building to be reconfigured as part of the transition of devices to the new infrastructure. While we are working hard to minimize inconvenience to faculty, students, and staff, each component of the building upgrade will entail a degree of disruption.

    To find out when your building will be upgraded, please contact your school or administrative unit IT director.