Meriden Public School Superintendent Mark Benigni was recently recognized by a national education consortium for enhancing student learning through technology. Superintendent Benigni over recent years has led a push in Meriden to embed more technology and digital content into the curriculum. Meriden is now considered a “one-to-one” district, meaning each student has their own computer device with which to access digital content.
With such a diverse and growing user digital community, Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Operations, Michael Grove, was concerned about cybersecurity and the threats posed by ransomware attacks, phishing emails, computer viruses, and other data breaches.
The Meriden Public School district operates an enterprise network connecting fourteen (14) buildings with a high-speed (10 Gbps) fiber-optic network. Over 10,000 users access educational, business office applications and the internet from a variety of endpoint devices, including many wireless users on personal computers.
The district selected Palo Alto Networks and Milford, CT. based, Digital BackOffice, to enhance perimeter security. DBO network ops center personnel pre-configured the firewall off-site and scheduled installation after hours to minimize network downtime. “DBO provides us with a single point of contact for all network problems, changes and trouble-shooting”, said Mr. Grove, “the school district network is dynamic with new devices and applications added with increasing frequency. We have experienced how each new device or application can expose others to cyberattacks and ransomware. The powerful detection and response capabilities inherent in the Palo Alto platform prevent attacks from compromising the network or worse.”
“We believe that Palo Alto Networks in partnership with Digital BackOffice provides the Meriden school district with the capability to prevent security breaches and manage our network with achievable service level goals,” added Chris Sette, Manager of IT Services for the school district. “The Digital BackOffice network operations center has visibility into all the network intersections, network data traffic and perimeter security. The DBO team provides the district with experienced network engineering talent, and is a trusted advisor that understands the unique K-12 education infrastructure needs.”