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|WatchGuard Protects Students While Leveraging Latest Learning Technology|
|Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 07:04:02 PM|
Franklin County Board of Education, Chester School District and Portsmouth Grammar School rely on WatchGuard to protect and optimize their learning environments
SEATTLE – May 3, 2016 — Schools, no matter whether they're pre-K or higher learning, want to accomplish two things: provide the best education possible, and create a safe learning environment for students. That is why so many learning institutions all over the world are taking advantage of WatchGuard® Technologies' content filtering and secure wireless solutions. A leader in multi-function integrated security appliances, WatchGuard provides wireless access points and firewalls that have had a significant impact on network safety and performance for Franklin County Board of Education (FCBOE), Chester School District (CSD) and Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) and their respective communities.
Ensuring Reliable and Safe Internet Access for Franklin County Schools, and Residents
Tucked into the hills of rural Northwest Alabama, Internet access in Franklin County is so rare that only an estimated 20 percent of students have it at home. To best serve their community, the board of education needs to provide access to reliable and secure Wi-Fi for their students to keep up with emerging learning trends. FCBOE turned to WatchGuard for a solution that provides security services tailored specifically for their needs.
"The school board can't afford to hire a huge staff, so it's essential to have a system and appliances that are easily manageable, and that's what WatchGuard does for us," said Tim Burks, network administrator at FCBOE.
With WatchGuard's firewalls, secure wireless access points, and cloud-based logging and reporting tool, Dimension, they can identify key trends across all wired and wireless activity in the district, providing valuable insight into Internet usage to help prevent student exposure to inappropriate sites. The schools' perimeter wireless access points (separate from the internal networks) are so reliable that community members throughout Franklin County park on the school grounds to securely connect to much needed Internet access they cannot get at home.
Better Visibility Means Heightened Security at Chester School District
It's a story heard in school districts everywhere. In New Jersey's Chester School District, the IT staff needs to provide Wi-Fi access for more than 1,200 students and 400 staff members, and their many devices. The district must be able to maintain control over web applications, block websites with malicious material and inappropriate content, and stay compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
"The ease of access to information and the intuitive platform provided by WatchGuard has freed up valuable time that, in the past, was spent monitoring and maintaining the previous device," said Dean Anderson, technology director, CSD. "Now, more time can be spent where it matters—supporting the staff and students."
Within weeks of deployment, WatchGuard's reporting tools helped to identify when students attempted to access inappropriate websites and allowed the administration to pinpoint exactly who was involved. Now CSD's technology team can respond immediately to any security or policy issues they encounter.
Breaking down walls with Secure Wi-Fi at Portsmouth Grammar School
At Portsmouth Grammar School, students are surrounded by history. Based in former army barracks, the fivefoot thick walls of the former Cambridge Barracks stood through a WWII bombing, but were not designed to allow a modern Wi-Fi signal. These rock-solid walls hampered connectivity and made it difficult to provide wireless access to students learning throughout the school's 300 rooms. Keeping students' private data secure and blocking unsafe online content were also major points of concern.
WatchGuard set up a robust wireless network comprised of 136 WatchGuard secure wireless access points spread across the school, with one access point in every third room. This solution ensures a strong Wi-Fi signal across every part of the campus. And because they work in tandem with a WatchGuard firewall, users are authenticated as soon as they reach the school grounds, and administration has control over which websites students can access.
"Having a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the school now means that tutors, students, and visitors have continual access to key resources and communications wherever they are on campus, helping us to deliver the aims of our curriculum," said James Priory, Headmaster of PGS. "Thanks to WatchGuard, our pupils' devices are securely, consistently, and easily connected to the school network."