The National Geographic Institute (NGI) has been using Belnet connectivity since its inception. It also recently adopted our new Advanced DNS Security service which was launched in April. To better understand the importance of this institution and its needs, especially in terms of security, we contacted Geoffrey Bataille, Head of ICT operation.
Becoming a hub for the provision of national geographic information
"The main mission of the National Geographic Institute (NGI) is the creation and updating of topographic maps of Belgium. But the NGI is not only a producer and integrator of topographic reference data. As a data broker (or geobroker), it also plans to continue its evolution to become the hub for the provision of national geographic information," explains Geoffrey Bataille.
He continues: "We are looking to improve the automated processing of data, particularly with change detection, deep learning and generalisation techniques. Two innovative projects are currently being submitted to Belspo: the Sepia project (Digitisation and post-processing of the archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa) and the Atlas project (Analysis of old maps to create a historical analysis of places)."
Geoffrey Bataille: "So far, Belnet has been able to develop to offer services in line with the technological evolution and ambitions of the NGI."
How long have you been connected to our network and why did you choose Belnet?
Geoffrey Bataille: "The NGI has used Belnet to provide connectivity since its inception. It offers quality connectivity on a network at the heart of the ever-changing Belgian Internet.
So far, Belnet has been able to develop to offer services in line with the technological evolution and ambitions of the NGI. We have used Belnet for our development by entrusting it with our internal inter-city network (the interconnection between our different sites for the NGI's internal network). Belnet is now the node between our offices and our data centre facilities."
Advanced DNS Security: a highly effective information exchange strategy for the NGI
The NGI was one of the first organisations to adopt the Advanced DNS Security service. Geoffrey Bataille explains, "we are generally the first to adopt innovative technologies. The adoption of Advanced DNS Security has paid off directly, as we soon found minor problems that no antivirus software had detected and the service stopped the deployment of an advanced threat within the first month of use."
Geoffrey Bataille: "It is impressive to see what can be highlighted from an external service."
An external solution based on DNS queries
"Advanced DNS Security is neither an antivirus nor a security solution installed on the organisation's internal IT; it is an external service based on DNS queries. It is impressive to see what can be highlighted from an external service. Advanced DNS Security monitors and stops threats when a user surfs, clicks on a link or opens an email linked to a malicious domain on the Internet. Almost all non-targeted malicious techniques today need access to a website to work", continues Geoffrey Bataille.
"Advanced DNS Security simply blocks these attempts by not providing the IP address of the server to be connected in return for the DNS query required for the infection."
2 IGN ICT team members
Geoffrey Bataille : "(…) the exchange of data between specialists in a field is the strategy of the future."
24/7 automatic standby
"Advanced DNS Security discreetly watches for any suspicious activity in DNS traffic 24/7 without the involvement of our ICT team. It immediately generates an alert to network administrators for the most dangerous threats where immediate action is highly recommended. It creates a report each week to detect short-term trends or plan medium-term awareness activities for users with higher-risk behaviour."
What do you think is the biggest advantage of Advanced DNS Security?
Geoffrey Bataille: "Belnet uses a Belgian partner who, like the NGI, has understood that data can be produced but that data exchange between specialists in a given field is the strategy of the future.
Advanced DNS Security therefore relies on a network of information exchanges with major security solution manufacturers and government cyber defence stakeholders. This strategy improves the overall data quality and efficiency of each partner."