Wolf Creek Public School District drives ‘bring-your-own’ device policy for student with Safe NAC solution from Alcatel-Lucent and InfoExpress
Today’s students, staff expect to access network using any device they choose, Safe NAC helps keep the network secure
Paris, France and Mountain View, Calif., October 4, 2011 – InfoExpress, a leading network security solutions provider, announced today that Alberta, Canada-based Wolf Creek Public Schools has deployed Safe Network Access Control (NAC), an integrated security solution from Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and InfoExpress, to enable the district to allow students to use their own mobile devices to access the district’s network.
According to Wolf Creek Assistant Superintendent, Gary Spence, the way that students embrace mobile technology and social media is central to their individuality and their education. A number of years ago, Wolf Creek provided laptops to every junior high student in two schools as part of a provincial research project. “We see digitally connected devices as essential tools of modern literacy, but in spite of the project’s success, we knew it would not be financially possible to provide every student with a laptop. The solution: have students bring and support their own devices,” says Spence.
Full access brings a slew of potential risks
The challenge for Wolf Creek was to enable students and staff to fully utilize social media and their own devices to support learning while still maintaining a high level of security and integrity to the district network, infrastructure and data. “We wanted personally owned devices to be full network citizens with access to all internal resources, and we wanted the experience to be simple and seamless for the end user,” Spence continued.
Wolf Creek turned to Safe NAC to protect the district’s distributed core network assets while ensuring 28 schools provide 8,000 staff and students with simple and secure access to the instructional tools and resources they need. Safe NAC is a fully integrated NAC solution that reduces costs by automating operational processes and minimizing the need for IT operator intervention during authentication. It provides guest access, host integrity checks, role-based access and post-admission control to help organizations ensure compliance. Safe NAC can detect, quarantine, and remedy unhealthy laptops that are not in compliance with the school’s security policy and control access to the network by auditing all devices before granting and during access to the network.
“The vision was to have authenticated access using any device, be able to identify who was using our network and be able to check the integrity of student systems and usage, so we could trust those systems to access network servers and other resources,” said Mark McWhinnie, Director of Technology Integration at Wolf Creek Public Schools. McWhinnie. “This is precisely what we’ve been able to achieve with Safe NAC.”
Thanks in large part to the security provided by Safe NAC, Wolf Creek was able to launch a successful bring-your-own device initiative for students and staff. Now they can access the network through the smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and the notebooks of their choice. “No longer do students or staff have to wait for available lab time; students can access educational resources whenever they need them from virtually anywhere inside our school facilities,” says McWhinnie.
Safe NAC integrates InfoExpress CyberGatekeeper Network Access Control into multiple Alcatel-Lucent components, including the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch platforms (AOS 6.3.4 and newer), the Alcatel-Lucent VitalQIP, and Alcatel-Lucent OmniAccess wireless platforms. Safe NAC offers key benefits, including full visibility and control of network activity, protection of network assets and mission critical data, and the ability to enforce user policies in a centralized manner and even to offer guest access. An example would be blocking access to peer-to-to-peer networks and applications such as Skype.
About Wolf Creek Public School District
About Wolf Creek Public School District Wolf Creek Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all students are successful learners equipped with tools and skills to learn for a lifetime. The division deploys multiple contemporary technologies to support the district vision of excellent learning environments. Wolf Creek serves approximately 7000 students in 34 locations over 5944 km2 area of Central Alberta, Canada. For more information on Wolf Creek Public Schools, go to http://www.wolfcreek.ab.ca
InfoExpress network security solutions protect enterprise networks and the endpoints connecting to them. The company has provided Network Access Control solutions since 2000. At the core of InfoExpress solution is the award winning CyberGatekeeper Family of Network Access Control products, which ensures endpoints are safe and compliant with security policies by performing real-time audits and quarantining of all network-attached endpoints. InfoExpress products have received numerous awards for innovation. The privately held company has been profitable for 12 consecutive years and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, please visit www.infoexpress.com.