Walker County School District Deploys WatchGuard Technologies Following Devastating Tornado After losing 95 percent of its data center infrastructure, district reassesses network security needs to support data-intense applications and programs

SEATTLE, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WatchGuard® Technologies, a leader in integrated security platforms, today announced that Walker County School District in Northeast Georgia, has deployed several of WatchGuard's XTM appliances. These Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms enable the district to eliminate multiple point solutions and consolidate security functionality and management.

The district's data center, which serves 20 sites (including 16 schools), was destroyed during a tornado and more than 95 percent of the infrastructure was not recoverable. With a staff of 1,500 and more than 9,300 students, the district IT staff was tasked with rebuilding the network to support up to 90 devices per classroom, while maintaining secure access to key data-intense applications, including the online lunar observatory and aquaponics program.

"As a district, we face many of the same educational compliance and security challenges other schools face, such as keeping student and staff information secure, and ensuring appropriate internal and external access," said Bob Swanson, network administrator at Walker County School District. "WatchGuard consolidates all the functionality we need into one platform so we can more easily deploy and manage our network security, without sacrificing performance."

Since deploying WatchGuard XTM solutions, the district has seen an increase in classroom productivity and exam test scores.  "With XTM, we're able to better control the network environment and give students high-performance access only to the resources they need," Swanson noted. "We've had some of our highest testing scores this last year and we attribute that to our technology initiatives, which WatchGuard plays a part."

In line with its commitment to offering students a safe and secure experience with the public Internet, administrators also use XTM features to better control student keyword and image search on Google, Yahoo, MSN and other websites. In addition, the district has the flexibility to block student access to inappropriate social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, but utilize role-based access controls for administrators and staff.

"Since implementing WatchGuard, we've seen a vast increase in speed and bandwidth capability. The platform has been able to handle heavy network traffic seamlessly, increasing response time to key applications," Swanson said.  "Furthermore, the solution also increases visibility into user data, providing rich reporting functionality and effortless, real-time monitoring, which makes capturing new insights for our administrators simple."

"The one word that I would use to describe everything from WatchGuard would be amazing. It just works," Swanson said.

To read the complete Walker School District case study click 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-of-Breed security features, and policy-based management tools. WatchGuard provides easy-to-use but enterprise-powerful protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. WatchGuard products are backed by WatchGuard LiveSecurity® Service, an innovative support program. 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 on Facebook, or on the LinkedIn Company page.

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

Contacts:
Kerry Desberg
WatchGuard Technologies
(206) 613-3760
Kerry.Desberg@watchguard.com

Justin Hall
Voxus PR
253-444-5442
jhall@voxuspr.com

SOURCE WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.



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