Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Deploys SonicWALL Next-Generation Firewall, Increases Remote Access to Confidential Data by 30%

Non-profit organization deploys SonicWALL Next-Generation Firewall, Aventail solution and SonicPoints to safeguard children's data and improve social services of Miami-Dade/Monroe counties

Oct 18, 2011, 08:00 ET from SonicWALL, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SonicWALL, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, today announced that Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. has successfully deployed the SonicWALL® E-Class NSA E7500 Next-Generation Firewall and SonicWALL Aventail® SRA EX7000 appliance to provide network security and secure remote access for its 200 employees. The agency also invested in three separate E-Class NSA E6500 appliances and 16 SonicPoint-N wireless access points to add secure wireless access at its remote site locations. Our Kids maintains a coordinated system of foster care and adoption services for more than 3,500 abused, abandoned and neglected children in the Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Recently, Our Kids replaced their Juniper® Networks firewalls with the SonicWALL E-Class NSA E7500 Next-Generation Firewall at corporate headquarters. The agency chose SonicWALL's E-Class firewalls because they needed enhanced WLAN functionality and a richer feature set of next-generation firewall capabilities such as application intelligence, control and visualization. With the E-Class NSA E7500, Our Kids can create application rules that help prioritize traffic for state-mandated and internal applications related to foster care management and services. Our Kids is in the stages of implementing application fingerprinting, which will allow separate access at the lower TCP/IP layers. The organization also required a next-generation firewall to support its social media communications with children and teens.

"SonicWALL's E-Class NSA device provides intelligence and WLAN capabilities which we could not get out of our existing Juniper firewalls," says Jeff Koonce, IT infrastructure manager at Our Kids. "Managing our Juniper hardware was a time-consuming process: I had to manually update signature files for anti-virus and intrusion prevention services. The SonicWALL environment is like a living entity; it even updates itself!"

Our Kids' case workers spend the majority of their time working remotely in the field and they are encouraged to use mobile devices to increase the duration of visits with children in the community. Therefore, Our Kids' SonicWALL deployment is complemented with three separate E-Class NSA E6500 appliances and 16 SonicPoint-N wireless access points at remote sites with 24x7 support. The SonicPoints give Our Kids the ability to create separate entry points for Blackberries and iPhones, segregate traffic and seamlessly monitor from a central dashboard who is using what type of device.

Not only does Our Kids store extremely sensitive personal information such as birth documents, child abuse and adoption data as well as HIV test information, but the agency also collaborates with hundreds of community providers that together employ more than 1,000 users. To ensure children in the Miami-Dade and Monroe counties receive the best possible social services, including medical, mental health or housing resources, they all need to have access to portions of this sensitive data. As a result, Our Kids has a critical need for a highly reliable and secure remote access platform that securely grants the correct level of remote access to the right worker and protects confidential data. Employees of Our Kids as well as those of the associated community providers all receive access to the database through the Aventail SRA EX7000 solution.

The SRA EX7000 gives Our Kids access control by first detecting the security of the endpoint. The appliance protects applications with granular policies based on the identity of the user and the endpoint being used for access. It then connects authorized employees and community providers effortlessly and supports a broad range of cross-platform devices.

"SonicWALL has made us more successful as an organization because our network can handle more entry points," said Koonce. "I don't have to worry about multiple entry points because Aventail allows me to do interrogations of those devices with multiple realms. It has enabled me to support a 1,000+ community of users in addition to my 200 employees."

"In terms of productivity with SonicWALL Aventail, we had a 30% increase in utilization of our network in 2010, without any addition to staff or changes in policy or procedure," summarizes Patricia Smith, chief information officer at Our Kids. "This means we're doing a better job at keeping children safer and giving them better access to care that will improve their lives."

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About Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe

Created in 2002, Our Kids is the non-profit lead agency for Community Based Care (CBC) in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Since May 2005, we have been providing foster care and related services in Miami and the Florida Keys.  These services were previously performed by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Our Kids is proud of our unique Community Leadership Model.  The members of our diverse Board of Trustees were specifically selected to represent the communities of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in the creation, development and oversight of a privatized, local foster care system.  Our Kids pioneered the concept of maintaining a board of community leaders that are completely divested and independent of our network of direct service providers.

About SonicWALL, Inc.

Guided by its vision of Dynamic Security for the Global Network, SonicWALL develops advanced intelligent network security and data protection solutions that adapt as organizations evolve and as threats evolve. Trusted by small and large enterprises worldwide, SonicWALL solutions are designed to detect and control applications and protect networks from intrusions and malware attacks through award-winning hardware, software and virtual appliance-based solutions. For more information, visit http://www.sonicwall.com/.

Copyright © 2011 SonicWALL, Inc. All rights reserved. SONICWALL® is a registered trademark of SonicWALL, Inc. and all other SonicWALL product and service names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of SonicWALL, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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