California School District Amps Up Content Filtering with SonicWall’s Security-as-a-Service
We know how much value SonicWall network security brings to our customers, and we know how much value our partners add when incorporating our solutions into their solutions for our customers.
The case of Calistoga Unified Regional School District is an excellent example.
Calistoga is in California’s Napa Valley. The district has more than 850 students, divided among an elementary school, junior/senior high school and an alternative-program continuation high school for students between the ages of 16 and 18. Administration offices are in a separate building near the junior/senior high school.
The district felt that its existing content-filtering services were not providing all the functionality it needed. Calistoga couldn’t get the flexibility and granular control over content filtering it needed to define different roles and access permissions for students, faculty and staff.
Like all K-12 school districts, Calistoga’s content filtering is there to protect against inappropriate and malicious web content, as well as to control application access.
“Our No. 1 priority is making sure that the students are protected,” says Jenna Burrows, Calistoga’s Director of Business Services.
Regulatory requirements regarding content filtering are also part of the picture. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), is the most directly relevant. Content filtering is also important with regards to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects students’ personally identifiable information (PII) from unauthorized disclosure, and is a requirement for districts to be eligible for discounts through the federal E-rate program.
Faced with a clear need to upgrade their content-filtering capabilities, Calistoga turned to their local managed services provider, Napa Valley Networks (NVN). NVN has been a SonicWall partner for more than 15 years. NVN recommended SonicWall’s Content Filtering Service for Calistoga.
But NVN didn’t stop with content filtering. After an initial audit of Calistoga’s network, they uncovered an issue with the district’s gateway. NVN’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Kyle Lumley, says the existing gateway “didn’t give them the control or feature set that they needed.”
NVN’s recommendation for Calistoga was a SonicWall SuperMassive 9800 next-generation firewall with High Availability capability.
All well and good so far. More granular, customizable content filtering and a new gateway to provide better control for the present, as well as being better able to handle future increases in networked devices and utilization.
Then came the 400-pound gorilla. How could Calistoga afford to pay for these improved capabilities? School districts work under very tight financial constraints.
Fortunately, NVN and SonicWall had a solution.
Calistoga leveraged SonicWall’s Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS). Rather than paying a large amount upfront as a capital expenditure, Calistoga pays a much more manageable monthly fee which fits within its operating budget. Burrows says this is a much more reasonable solution for the district.
Additionally, much of the cost is eligible for discounts through the federal E-rate program.
NVN coordinated the transition to the new gateway and Content Filtering Service. All went well, even in the face of tight deadlines. Calistoga’s happy with the results.
Read the Case Study here.