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The Challenge of Device Diversity with BYOD

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Any challenge in supporting the increasing diversity of devices involved with BYOD?

Anytime you open the door for outside devices you have to ask yourself “what is technology’s role in your tech plan?” With a NAC solution you have the ability to detect what kind of device is trying to connect to your network; with policies you can determine what access to give. Furthermore the NAC solution can also detect if that device is “safe” for your network by detecting Anti-Virus setting to insure compliance.

How to sell BYOD to Decision Makers

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Let’s face it: IT managers are not salesmen and often can be completely misunderstood with “geek speak”. With terms like BYOD, SNMP, NAC, MDM and even PC can become confusing to the non-initiated.

The key is to sell the sizzle not the steak.

In other words what decision makers want to hear is not BYOD but how awesome it will be if “Johnny” can bring his laptop he got for Christmas to do school work. Without having to do a lot of training for the teachers or risk to the network.

Why Go BYOD?

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Technology is playing an increasing role in education every year – we have to have a greater density and access to technology. At one time it was a popular expression “10:1” that’s a ratio of ten students to computer but now “1:1” is becoming the standard.

Most decisions are made to move into BYOD comes with a realization that with schools limited budgets makes it impossible to reach the technology density required to be effective.

BorderLAN’s BYOD solution makes it possible for students to bring their own devices to school while at the same time maintaining required standards (Security, privacy and regulatory). Read More.

Overcoming the growing need for technology in schools

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I was fascinated at the idea we might be able to overcome the fact we have a growing need to provide access to our students. Because of the kind of curriculum deliver we are faced with and that’s only going to become more important. Without having to expend massive amounts of money that we don’t have, to provide these technologies for the students.

The secret is that all these kids have parents/grandparents/guardians that give those kindles, iPads, laptops for birthdays, Christmas etc. Furthermore these kids are often better then us at using these technologies. So why wouldn’t we want to find a way to let the students bring these technologies on campus.

The problem is we have a number of things we have to deal with that are different than businesses like Starbucks. Among them are the CIPA/FIRPA regulations and the risk of allowing viruses into the network. BorderLAN’s BYOD solution allows non-organization owned devices to connect with less worry of security breaches, viruses and open policy. It’s also very easy to use and implement and enforce compliance with policies in place.

BorderLAN Provides Anti-Virus Solution for West Des Moines Schools

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District makes choice after evaluation determines ESET Anti-Virus speedier, more efficient

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – BorderLAN Logo In the age of shrinking budgets and aging computers, school districts are forced to start thinking outside the box maintain their network security. “A locked-down and well-managed desktop PC can be over 40% less expensive to maintain than an unmanaged one that fails often and only last a few years,” explained Craig Smith of BorderLAN, a nationwide network security provider. “With 70,000 unique pieces of malware variants being identified daily, you need the best anti-virus software you can find.”

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) – the state’s ninth-largest K-12 district, including 14 schools, more than 9,000 students and 1,200 employees – understood. After conducting an independent case study of available Anti-Virus programs, it selected ESET as its exclusive AV system.

Said Scott Crothers, district network engineer, “Most AV systems these days have lost their way and become huge bloat software that does very little, uses more than it should and does not do the primary job it was designed for. We used many of the popular AV’s in the past but now we needed one that had two simple requirements: fast boot time and low footprint on local resources.”

A WDMCS team launched an evaluation of the three biggest names in anti-virus software … and just before conducting its tests was introduced to ESET by BorderLAN Network Security.
Identical personal computers were formatted and each loaded with a different AV program. The team timed regular boot cycles, and evaluate boot resources, along with ongoing local resources to gauge the impact of each installation. The winner was ESET — with a noticeable 45 seconds faster boot.

“Boot speed was important, but only part of the equation,” Crothers said. “The next test evaluated the resource usage of the AV systems in background / standby mode and in scan mode. Hands down, ESET not only used half of the resources of its competition, but also completed the scans faster.”

Scan technology was also an important factor in the WDMCS case study. “We found ESET to be very proactive in its signature update process for known threats,” said Crothers. “Moreover, ESET’s heuristics-based scan engine was able to identify threat variants that have morphed from their original known threat signatures. Given the dynamic nature of modern viruses, trojans, spyware, and malware in general, ESET’s effective capability to combat zero-day threats made for a clear decision.”

Crothers continued, “Prior to ESET, the AV bloatware we were using was causing delays in the classroom and even caused slower application performance due to low resources. We feel we have extended the life of our PCs by using ESET.”

“We needed something simple, fast and affordable and BorderLAN delivered. ESET and BorderLAN exceeded our requirements and impressed us further with technical support and helpfulness.”

About BorderLAN Inc.

BorderLAN is a California-based nationwide provider of innovative and budget-friendly software, specializing in hassle-free network security solutions for IT and compliance needs as well as deployment assistance. BorderLAN clients include thousands of schools, businesses and government offices.

Faronics Anti-Executable and Granite School District

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Granite School District, located in Salt Lake County, Utah, operates 60 elementary schools, 16 junior high schools, 9 high schools, as well as other special schools and programs. With 68,075 students, Granite is the second largest district in Utah and is among the largest public school districts in the nation. Granite is also one of Utah’s largest employers, with more than 7,500 full and part-time employees. Granite has also been nationally recognized for teacher professional development programs and the economic efficiencies of its administration.

The Problem They Faced

Scott Watson, an Electronics Teacher in Hunter Senior High School, trains students in a computer lab consisting of 24 workstations that operate as independent computers 90% of the time, and server interfaced network stations for the balance 10%. These dual-core processor systems run Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and are utilized by over 150 students every day.

“We are fortunate in that we have a powerful computer lab,” says Mr. Watson. “We do, however, want to ensure that power is used for educational purposes, and not for classroom distractions such as games, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer file sharing.”

The Solution

“I could not find any other product comparable to Faronics Anti-Executable,” says Mr. Watson. Faronics Anti-Executable has given Granite School District the ability to enforce total compliance in their computer labs. The district’s teachers benefit from distractionfree classroom sessions each and every time, while the district’s IT personnel are guaranteed that the lab computers remain free of unwanted software and compliant with acceptable use policies.

“Faronics Anti-Executable’s white list protection gives us the assurance that only the programs we have installed on the computers are able to run,” says Mr. Watson. “We use Deep Freeze to return our computers back to their original state, but that happens only upon workstation restart. Sometimes a lab computer is kept running for an entire day, so it could potentially accrue a whole day’s worth of ‘software junk’.”

Ballston Spa Central School District

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Faronics Anti-Virus & Deep Freeze and Ballston Spa Central School District

The Ballston Spa Central School District (BSCSD) is a New York based school district serving close to 4,200 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The Ballston Spa High School opened in 1998 with innovative computer and science labs, a modern library media center, auditorium, and a swimming pool. More than 700 educators, administrators, and support staff make up the district’s dedicated team of employees. There are 1,700 workstations and 30 servers, in an all-Windows environment.

When Brian Merchant, Coordinator of Technical Support Services for BSCSD, joined the district 10 years ago, the tech staff spent a good amount of their time rebuilding computers. They re-imaged approximately one computer a week which prevented them from focusing on other projects.

The time constraints from rebuilding computers and responding to IT support tickets weren’t the only problems the district faced. With global malware attacks increasing and becoming more evasive, BSCSD knew they needed a more network-efficient anti-virus solution, one that didn’t slow down network and system performance, and was able to deliver anti-virus updates without delays.

A Solution That Worked

Mr. Merchant was already familiar with Faronics Deep Freeze during his tenure with a smaller school where Deep Freeze was deployed on all lab computers for five years prior to coming to Ballston Spa. Deep Freeze is an instant system-restore solution, which protects original workstation configurations by restoring the computer settings to their original condition with a
simple reboot. Deep Freeze eliminates the need for IT professionals to perform rebuilds, re-image, or troubleshoot computers. The bulletproof protection of Deep Freeze reduced the district’s support calls, allowing the IT team to focus on strategic objectives instead of mundane and time consuming technical support issues.

The district didn’t hesitate on deploying Deep Freeze across their entire network of workstations, but they still needed a compatible anti-virus solution. The software needed to be able to deliver
anti-virus updates without delays even on computers in Frozen mode (protected by Deep Freeze). Standard anti-virus solutions required workstations to be in Deep Freeze maintenance mode
to deliver updates and, even then, the network traffic generated to update the machines was substantial and degraded network performance. Often times, updates weren’t even successful during
the maintenance cycle, which resulted in more work for the busy IT team. Furthermore, computers weren’t updated in a timely manner, making them vulnerable to new malware threats.

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