Press Release: WatchGuard Protects Students While Leveraging Latest Learning Technology

WatchGuard Protects Students While Leveraging Latest Learning Technology

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.

Read the complete case study here.

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.

Read the complete case study here.

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.”

Read the complete case study here.

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.
WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader of integrated, multi-function business security solutions that intelligently combine industry-standard hardware, best-in-class security features, and policy-based management tools. WatchGuard provides easy-to-use, but enterprise-grade protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Wash. with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit WatchGuard.com.

For additional information, promotions and updates, follow WatchGuard on Twitter @WatchGuardTech onFacebook, or on the LinkedIn Company page.

WatchGuard is a registered trademark of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.

Press Release: WatchGuard Is Making The Internet Safer For Children Around The World

WatchGuard is Making the Internet Safer for Children Around the World

Friendly WiFi Initiative Recognizes Public Places That Provide Secure and Filtered Wi-Fi

Seattle, Washington, April 6, 2016WatchGuard® Technologies, a global leader in network security, is making the Internet safer for children around the world through its support of Friendly WiFi. Initiated by the U.K. Government and managed by the RDI Trade Organization, the Friendly WiFi initiative recognizes public places – including restaurants, shops, hotels, and transportation services – that provide secure and filtered Wi-Fi.

“With Wi-Fi hotspots growing exponentially across all types of public locations, children are becoming increasingly more vulnerable to online threats and inappropriate content,” said WatchGuard CEO Prakash Panjwani. “Enabling Wi-Fi is easy for businesses. Secure Wi-Fi is the problem WatchGuard is solving.”

WatchGuard recently launched its AP300 Access Point, which extends WatchGuard’s best-in-class Unified Threat Management (UTM) features to filter and reliably block inappropriate content at Wi-Fi hotspots. WatchGuard’s recent innovations in secure Wi-Fi led to its accreditation as a “Friendly WiFi Approved Provider” and a partnership that will benefit families everywhere. The Friendly WiFi initiative will be promoted through WatchGuard’s reseller channels and marketing campaigns to spread awareness about the dangers young people face while using public Wi-Fi.

“WatchGuard has been a pioneer in network security for 20 years and is leading the industry with their latest advancements in secure Wi-Fi,” said RDI Spokesperson Mike Davies. “WatchGuard’s expertise and passion for security will strengthen our commitment and make a positive difference in keeping children and young people around the world safe online.”

Join WatchGuard in supporting the Friendly WiFi initiative. Before accessing your next public Wi-Fi hotspot, look for the colorful Friendly WiFi logo, and inform those who do not know about the importance of secure Wi-Fi.

Visit www.watchguard.com/securewifi to learn more about WatchGuard’s latest secure Wi-Fi solutions. For more information on the Friendly WiFi initiative, please visit www.friendlywifi.com.

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.
WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader of integrated, multi-function business security solutions that intelligently combine industry standard hardware, best-in-class security features, and policy-based management tools. WatchGuard provides easy-to-use, but enterprise-grade protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Wash. with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit WatchGuard.com.

Press Release: Dicar Networks Jumpstarts El Toro Youth Center Technology Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dicar Networks Jumpstarts El Toro Youth Center Technology Education

Sophisticated firewall and software keeps kids safer yet allows them to access internet sites for easier, up-to-date online educational opportunities

Morgan Hill, CA – January 10, 2014. The kids at the El Toro Youth Center got a jumpstart in December with the generous donation of new computer and internet technology from Dicar Networks.

Over the last few years, the center’s kids have used this after school program to get help with homework and learn more computer technology skills which increase their hands-on skills, critical in school and many jobs in their futures. But the access to the internet has brought constantly changing challenges and threats as the number of unsuitable websites continues to grow and little was available to easily keep the kids away from those websites. Until now. Now that is changing with the help of Dicar Networks’ sophisticated network service which will help bring safer access for the kids using the Center’s eight computers.

The new system includes a firewall which can block access to unsuitable websites with various levels and reports of where the kids are going while searching online for information. The kids in this after school program can use the center’s computers while researching online for help with homework – anywhere from the capital of Maine to information on the Holocaust, and will selectively block out hate sites and “adult” sites. Various layers of access can be set depending on a child’s age and appropriateness so if junior high student is doing a report on the Holocaust, he might be able to access different sites than a first grader who is looking for information on different animals, for instance.

Dicar Networks owner, Armando Garcia, has become a huge cheerleader for the Center since moving his business to Morgan Hill and looking for a way to get involved with the community. He learned about the El Toro Youth Center which, until last year, had been funded by the Catholic Charities to the tune of about $100,000 annually. Now, the Center has to be self-sufficient.

“After learning about the El Toro Youth Center and visiting them, I discovered that I really supported the work that Alban and the staff are doing,” said Garcia. He continued: “the work they do touched me as I am a high school dropout and could have used these services as a child. I am also concerned that the majority of the population in California will be Hispanic and that we need to provide the best education possible as someday these children will be running the State. I believe that technology along with education is an equalizer and the education portion of the equation is being provided at the Center.”

“Technology allows for more rapid learning and exposure to a greater learning environment. That being said, the Center’s Computer Technology is older than five years. This will not properly prepare or assist the students for entering or completing mainstream formal education programs. The Center has done a remarkable job with the available tools and it can do a greater public service by improving the technology. I believe in the work that is being done at the Center and I believe that the work could be accelerated through a technology upgrade. The students at the Center deserve the best because they are willing to work on bettering their education.”

The Center’s supervisor, Alban Diaz, who is also finishing his undergraduate degree in psychology at San Jose State this year, has been working at the Center for over seven years. “Technology is essential to today’s academic and career success. Most if not all of today’s high level/high paid jobs revolve around computers and technology. This donation will help us incorporate better technology to the center and will allow the youth to develop technological skills that will be essential in their future.”

The Center is in need of more and newer computers than the eight computers it presently has.

About Dicar Networks

Dicar Networks provides a single and simple source in Silicon Valley for Cabling, IT Services, Network Security, Wireless Networks, Phone Systems / VoIP, and Internet Services in the Silicon Valley.

Services range from office cabling and setup with phone and internet service, installing a new phone system or wireless network, and ongoing support of your network, security and backup. Dicar Networks is recognized as an industry leader in the Silicon Valley, and supports companies of all sizes and fields.

For more information, please contact Armando Garcia at agarcia@dicarnetworks.com.

About El Toro Youth Center

The El Toro Youth Center is dedicated to providing services to children from low income families in Morgan Hill. Located near downtown Morgan Hill, El Toro Youth Center is the hub of activity where children and their parents can receive drop-in services.

The center provides students tutorial service with homework, computer literacy classes, arts and crafts, sports, and other recreational activities. Parental classes include training and workshops on topics such as study habits, gang and drug prevention, and other related topics. The program serves nearly 500 youth and parents.