Illinois District Beefs Up Network Security

An Illinois school system has upgraded its computer security set-up for its three high schools. Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge has put in place firewalls from Palo Alto Networks to secure data coming onto the network from the Internet and Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager for overseeing device access to the wired and wireless networks.

The deployment included placing a PA-3020 next-generation firewall at each campus with subscriptions for threat prevention, URL filtering and the company's threat analysis cloud service. That firewall offers 2 Gbps firewall throughput, 1 Gbps threat prevention throughput and 500 Mbps VPN throughput. Aruba's software handles on-boarding and network access of devices.

The school system runs a 1-to-1 program, and the district segments its network to provide a private network for faculty and staff, a separate secure network for students and a guest network. The upgrade on security came at a time when the district was seeking to improve security policy management, access control and oversight of the wireless network.

The use of technology from the two companies "has been a great combination," said Jon Urbanski, district network manager, in a statement. "Before, we could only control access based on IP or MAC address, but because of the compatibility between Palo Alto Networks and Aruba, now we can push policies to individual users and devices on both our wireless and wired networks."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.