Our K-12 school has an extensive campus which hosts 250 faculty and 1500 students, with over 240 students living in boarding houses. Our senior students and faculty members each have a school-provided laptop, while also allowing BYOD access to the network in boarding houses, and throughout the campus for select users.
Our IT team faced numerous security challenges associated with allowing unmanaged devices onto the network. We needed a solution that could accurately and reliably prevent and report threats to the network, no matter who the user or what the device is. Despite implementing measures such as installing local antivirus software on the school-owned machines and intrusion prevention on the firewall, our team was still bogged down with hours of manually identifying and eliminating network threats such as botnets, spyware, and malware—issues that were also impacting student and faculty productivity.
When we approached HP with our challenges, HP delivered the Network Protector SDN Application to identify and block network threats and enable secure BYOD. HP Network Protector Security, running on the HP Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller, enables automated network posture assessment and real-time security across OpenFlow-enabled network devices such as switches.
One of the concerns with implementing an SDN solution is knowing where to start. We were able to implement an SDN solution quickly because of our investment in OpenFlow-enabled hardware. We were able to take advantage of the Network Protector SDN solution by downloading a free software upgrade for our existing switches to enable OpenFlow, eliminating the need for a costly rip-and-replace of our network infrastructure.
Network Protector leverages the Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller and OpenFlow to program the network infrastructure with security intelligence from the TippingPoint RepDV Labs database. This effectively turns the entire network infrastructure into security-enforcement devices, providing unprecedented threat protection and visibility.
We installed the solution during a school break, and saw instant results when students and faculty returned. Immediately, thousands of threats were automatically identified and blocked by HP Network Protector, and our IT team was able to proactively address network vulnerabilities.
HP Network Protector takes away a lot of the manual labor that we used to do; we now know exactly where the infections are and how many there are—we can detect threats and respond in a proactive manner. That saves us hours of work every week.
We use Network Protector to help us with challenges around sites like Facebook, which are a distraction during class. With the DNS Blacklist feature, we restrict access to websites like that, which encourages the staff and students to engage more with one another during class. It’s hard for us to measure the return on investment that we’ve had with HP Network Protector, but there’s no doubt that it gives us the power to help staff and students be more productive in the classroom; and at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all about.