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Upper Grand District School Board Selects Fortinet to Enable 21st Century Teaching and Learning
Ontario Ministry of Education Broadband Modernization Program Enabled by Fortinet’s Secure Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)
John McCormick, associate chief information officer, Upper Grand District School Board
“Fortinet understands the unique challenges we’re facing in education to deliver meaningful learning opportunities to students while maintaining the necessary levels of security. Many vendors approach the SD-WAN space from a network-centric standpoint, but Fortinet takes a security-first perspective and combines it with strong network capabilities. In our environment, it’s imperative for us to protect student and staff personal information and Fortinet’s stronger security play was a key factor in our decision process.”
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), the global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced that the Upper Grand District School Board has selected Fortinet to deliver secure SD-WAN capabilities to its schools in a pilot program addressing the need for greater broadband capabilities.
- The Upper Grand District School Board selected Fortinet to provide a “security-first” SD-WAN solution to implement their broadband modernization project.
- Fortinet helps UGDSB achieve its project goals of improving its Internet capacity and increasing application performance within UGDSB’s existing operational cost structure.
- UGDSB is leveraging the Fortinet Security Fabric, including FortiGate Firewalls, FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer, to centralize control across its entire infrastructure and enable visibility into applications and users.
The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) consists of 65 elementary schools and 11 high schools across 1,600 square miles, and supports 3,000 dedicated teaching and support staff who serve approximately 34,000 students. Located in central Ontario, UGDSB was selected as a pilot district for the Ontario Ministry of Education’s initiative to modernize school broadband services with the goal of enabling a cost-effective, secure, and scalable infrastructure capable of supporting the increasing needs of their students and educators.
To meet these goals, UGDSB began evaluating SD-WAN solutions that could offer increased broadband capacity, application performance, flexibility, simplicity, and cost savings when compared to legacy architectures. UGDSB also required visibility into encrypted traffic to meet the growing use of VPN clients and SSL-encryption, which was predicted to grow to 80% of its traffic within the next two years.
However, moving to SD-WAN does not come without challenges. According to Gartner, “As network leaders move to employ direct internet access to their branch offices, they are challenged to identify appropriate security solutions for all their branch offices.” The report also notes that, “Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) products now incorporate internet perimeter security, but more than 90% of SD-WAN vendors are not traditional security vendors, which causes clients to question whether they can rely on embedded security alone.”1
UGDSB worked with its long-time advisor Integra Data Systems and selected Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution to serve as the foundation for the board’s networking needs. Fortinet’s FortiGate firewalls are deployed at each school and the board’s primary data center to provide secure SD-WAN, high-performance perimeter protection, SSL inspection, throughput, and flexibility. UGDSB also leverages the benefits of the Fortinet Security Fabric, deploying FortiManager to centralize deployment and management of the FortiGates, and FortiAnalyzer to provide an enterprise view of activity across its extended network infrastructure.
The project has been a success according to McCormick, “The Fortinet FortiGate, FortiManager, and FortiAnalyzer solutions have provided a solid network foundation that has helped us meet the Ministry’s broadband modernization project objectives and provides a secure, scalable, and manageable platform to address our dynamic network needs.”
- Please visit the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN homepage for more details.
- Read the full story on the Upper Grand District School Board project in this case study.
- Download a complimentary copy of the Gartner report, Four Architectures to Secure SD-WAN.
- Follow Fortinet on Twitter and LinkedIn, and Facebook.
- Join the conversation on the Fortinet blog.
1 Gartner,“Four Architectures to Secure SD-WAN,” Bjarne Munch, Greg Young, 6 October 2017.
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